Spectral science news

These are my links for July 15th from 12:27 to 12:32:

  • Herpes invasion – There are eight herpes viruses that cause human diseases. Depending on how they affect us, they result in oral and genital herpes, the latter of which is present in almost a third of the US population. Currently, there is no cure for herpes viruses. Upon infection, the viruses remain in the body for life and can stay inactive for long periods of time. Herpes is also a leading cause of viral blindness and viral encephalitis. An X-ray study has now revealed the unusual structure of a key protein complex that allows a herpes virus to invade cells.
  • Sweet sense of GOD – A glucose sensor based on a room-temperature ionic liquid rather than conventional solvents has much better acid-resistance than other sensors and so could be developed into a much more robust sensor device for diabetes monitoring.
  • The banana blues – An intriguing compound found in ripening or senescent parts of the banana plant is a breakdown product of chlorophyll that makes the leaves glow blue under ultraviolet light. New insights into this and related compounds suggest that they are present to attract fruit-eating animals that then spread the plant's seeds.
  • Iodine analysis – Iodine is an essential part of a healthy diet as it is needed by the thyroid gland for the biosynthesis of thyroid hormones; an excessive intake iodine can lead to thyroid disorders, however. "Seafood, iodized table salt, milk and dairy products are common sources of iodine. Now, a new approach to spectroscopic analysis of foods could improve baby formula milk and other products by allowing total iodine content to be determined more precisely.