Week 5

DNA as a Catalyst

Semester:

This week's seminar was brought to us by Benjamin Bradsen. Bradsen is a PhD candidate at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne. The title of his presentation was “DNA as a Catalyst Towards the Development of Artificial Proteases.” The primary purpose of this discussion was the role DNA can play as a catalyst for proteases. DNA is also known as deoxyribonucleic acid and is a molecule that encodes the genetic instructions used in the development and function of all known living organisms. While enzymes are large biological molecules that assist in many metabolic processes.

DNA as a catalyst: Towards the development of artificial proteases

Semester:

           This week’s seminar was about DNA-catalyzed peptide bond cleavage. The main title for the presentation was “DNA as a catalyst: Towards the development of artificial proteases”. The speaker for the seminar was Benjamin M. Bradsen. Generally, he first talked about how DNA is transcript to RNA and how RNA translates to protein.

DNA As a Catalyst

Semester:

Ben Brandsen, a grad student from the University of Illinois, presented on the topic of DNA catalysts. The main current interest of his research is peptide bond cleavage. While conducting their work, they realized they needed a way to avoid DNA hydrolysis. One of the questions they attempted to answer was, “How can they evolve the anilide-cleaving deoxyribozyme to cleave a peptide bond?” They searched to find aliphatic substrates that were very similar in their properties to those of the peptide.

DNA as a Catalyst

Semester:

This week’s seminar was about the use of DNA as a catalyst. With all the enzymes that are in our body that give us life the idea of DNA being a catalyst on its own is intriguing. A DNA molecule being a catalyst is called a deoxyribozyme.  The speaker that presented on this topic was Benjamin Brandsen from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

Chemistry seminar - Brandsen

Semester:

            This week’s chemistry seminar speaker was Ben Brandsen a PhD Student at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He spoke about his research dealing the use of DNA as an enzyme. This was an interesting research idea as I had not previously known that DNA could behave as an enzyme. This was therefore a completely new branch of chemistry for me. I found it very interesting that DNA had the potential to cleave ester and amide bonds. The speaker also presented interesting information about a new technique for determining potentially enzymatically active DNA sequences.

DNA Catalysts for Protein Cleavage

Semester:

On Thursday, October 10th, 2013, Mr. Benjamin Brandsen, a fourth year graduate student from the Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, came to speak to us about DNA as catalysts towards the development of artificial proteases. Mr. Brandsen graduated from Calvin College with a degree in biochemistry and is the youngest person we've had come for a seminar so far.

DNA as a Catalyst: Towards the Development of Artificial Proteases

Semester:

This week's topic was regarding DNA being used as a catalyst. The speaker for this topic was Dr. Benjamin M. Brandsen from University of Illnois. He found an interest in this topic because he wanted to see and find alternative ways to use DNA as a catalyst. One of the ideas he spoke about was the central dogma of genes. It goes DNA which is turned into RNA by transcription and then RNA gets turned into protein by translation. These are nature's natural enzyme and its natural process. He also spoke about ways to identify enzymes.

DNA as a Catalyst for Artificial Proteases

Semester:

At the 5th weekly Chemistry seminar, Chemistry and Biochemistry majors of all years were delighted to meet a young man by the name of Benjamin Brandsen. The reason I use the adjective young was because he was around our age, just finishing one of his degrees and moving on to something in which he has a passion for: DNA. I was surprised to see that he began his talk on a subject we had been recently studying in Biology class, the Central Dogma.

DNA Catalysts for Protein Cleavage

Semester:

Of the multitude of enzymes there are in living organisms, who thought DNA/RNA could act as “enzymes” on their own? What distinguished DNA/RNA from normal enzymes is that enzymes are typically made up of proteins not nucleotide sequences. The discoveries of RNA catalysts (ribozymes) are what proved that nucleic acids can be catalysts as well. Now, it has been found that DNA, called deoxyribozymes can also catalyze certain reactions. This week, Mr. Ben Brandsen from the University of Illinois came to talk about his research on catalyzed hydrolysis/cleavages of ester and peptide bonds.