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Centre for Chemical Biology USM
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A research center in USM focusing on using chemistry to elucidate secrets of life
A research center in USM focusing on using chemistry to elucidate secrets of life

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Hats off to all graduates! Happy Graduation Day!

CCB would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Ms Farizah Hanim Lat, Ms Sim Pei Fang, and Ms Siti Nur Fatin Ahmad Kamal who have graduated and received their Master's degree in science (MSc) at the 56th USM Convocation Ceremony recently. Well done to you all!

CCB also express our gratitude to the lecturers and CCBians that have kindly assisted in providing guidance and mentorship to the graduating students.

It is our great hope for you to continue working hard and strive for the best in your future undertakings. May your scientific knowledge and experience while in USM serve as a guide to gain more success in the future. We are looking forward to have a lasting relationship with all the graduates who are now proud alumni of CCB.

Thank you for your experience at CCB and all the very best wishes to everyone!
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10/30/18
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Finally we have an idea how bioplastics are made in bacteria.

Many bacteria can produce a certain type of bioplastics, polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), which the bacteria actually use to store carbon and energy. The key enzyme is the PHA synthase PhaC, which combines hydroxyalkanoate (HA) monomers into long PHA chains. PhaC had been studied since the 1980s, but its mechanism had been eluding scientists until now.

One way to understand how a protein functions is to determine its three-dimensional structure. Recently two PhaC structures had been determined for the first time, but unfortunately the structures were in a closed form — no tunnel was observed for the PHA chains to exit the enzyme — and hence the mechanism was still not fully revealed.

CCB researchers then constructed a model of another PhaC enzyme, and successfully identified a three-branched channel that could serve as the entry for the HA monomers and exit for the PHA polymers. Docking of a growing PHA chain into the catalytic site further suggested a unique elongation mechanism, which requires a ⁓180° rotation of the monomer being added to the chain.

The properties of the PHA bioplastics — flexible, brittle, hard, etc — depend on the types and length of the HA monomers. For example, the PHA made up of the shortest monomer is brittle and stiff, but adding longer polymers increases its flexibility. Our model has also been able to explain how the PhaC enzyme recognizes monomers of different length.

With these fresh insights to further facilitate PhaC engineering, we hope we are now closer to designer bioplastics that can cater for our daily needs and, more importantly, also help reduce the pollution created by humans.

(Link valid until 17 September.)

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0141813018320774
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Good day scientists! Looking for research services? Centre for Chemical Biology (CCB) is having super special promotions for National Day 2018!!!Browse through and grab them now! #CCBforall #DNAsequencing #MicrobeID #InsectID #Xraycrystallography #LowestcostHighQualityservice

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9/13/18
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CENTRE FOR CHEMICAL BIOLOGY-MICROBIAL BIODIVERSITY LIBRARY (CCB-MBL) SERVICE

We are delighted to introduce Centre for Chemical Biology's microbial collection. The Centre for Chemical Biology Microbial Biodiversity Library (CCB-MBL) house a variety of microorganisms isolated from various natural habitats. These isolates are taxonomically supported by conventional identification methods. Visit the library's catalog (online) to view the collection. Contact us if you are keen to obtain isolates for your research/development or teaching.
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ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY TEAM WON A GOLD MEDAL IN ITEX'18

Environmental microbiology team (Dr. Go Furusawa and Ms. Nur Hasyimah) participated in ITEX18 (International Invention, Innovation & Technology Exhibition) recently. Their invention, Bioflocculant AuDC, competed under the “Chemical” category. This innovation is an organic flocculant consisted of dead cells of a locally isolated marine bacteria. These cells can quickly remove organic particles, and selected heavy metals from water, making it a potential solution for wastewater treatment.

After evaluation by judges, the entry won a gold medal. A patent application based on this innovation is currently pending.
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