Terima Kasih pada Virus AIDS

Tulisan ini telah dimuat di Netsains.com

Mungkin selama ini ketika nama AIDS disebut, yang terbayang di pikiran kita adalah : penyakit mematikan, virus berbahaya, kematian, dan hal-hal lain yang mengerikan terkait infeksi virus HIV AIDS. Namun ternyata virus HIV ini dapat menyembuhkan penyakit dan justru menyelamatkan manusia! Bukan berarti virus tersebut telah bertaubat, namun para peneliti menggunakan dan memodifikasi virus HIV sebagai alat untuk Terapi Gen. Dalam Science Magazine dilaporkan bahwa Terapi Gen menggunakan virus HIV sebagai pengantar gen sukses menyembuhkan penyakit kerusakan otak berbahaya bernama X-linked ALD (X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy).

ALD merupakan penyakit keturunan yang diakibatkan kerusakan kromosom X ,sehingga penderita penyakit ini sebagian besar adalah laki-laki. (Nah lo..) Kerusakan ini menyebabkan Continue reading

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The Biodegradable Plastics : Maybe someday we don’t need to separate garbage anymore

At the first day I arrived at Japan, just a several hours after we arrived at Narita airport (even we haven’t rest at all), I and all very tired-YSEP students are welcomed by the orientation sessions of Tokyo Tech Umegaoka Dormitory, and the longest session is about “How to separate your garbage!!”, such an important rules because in Yokohama prefecture there is a very strict regulation about it. You must not only separate your plastics and non plastics garbage, but SO MANY! Such as metals, bottles, reuse paper, reuse stuff, sharp garbage, beverage box, reuse box paper, etc. So, it is not just remove the garbage but you must take time to separate it well, because Japan Government is trying to make all the things friendly to environment.

Now I’m gonna tell you about the story of friendly plastics, that maybe someday the government will make a new rule to remove your plastics garbage by just bury it inside the ground! And they’ll gone!!!

Why do they are very strict about plastics is because, I think you’ve already know, that plastics and all product made from petroleum are very hard to decomposed by earth. The fuel-based plastic lock the carbon inside, and if it incinerated it’ll make CO2 pollution on atmosphere. Then Scientists and Engineers make a new kind of plastics called Biodegradable Plastics. The friendly environment plastics that degraded well by soil microbes.

Continue reading

Bionanotechnology Class

I have never been thought before that I will attend this kind of class. Very futuristic and unimaginable lesson. What the lecturer say is about the combination of the two main technology that is biotechnology and nanotechnology. Sometimes during the class I just can’t stop thinking (with absolutely imaginative mind!) how could that stuff be real??

Anyway, today is the last lecture, and the lecturer tell us about the future of bionanotechnology. I think this is the peak of several lesson before, that explain us about the DNA origami (This is the first time I heard that we can make origami from DNA!), DNA combining semiconductor, Nanorobot for medical therapy, gene therapy, gecko’s feet for everlasting glue tape, etc. Very interesting I think. And the nice one is : the lecturer isn’t a Japanese, so he can speak in English very very very well.. hehe

Here are some nanotechnology from nature: The idea is mimicking the nature.

The Gecko and Its Feet. Gecko has feet that covered by 500.000 setae/ foot, and each setae contain 100-1000 spatula in nanostructure. The structure can make gecko attach the wall tightly using van der waals interaction and capillary forces. So that, in theory, a single gecko can support more than 2 Kg weight hanging despite gecko have only 40g in weight. That’s why then people mimicking the feet nanostructure to make a everlasting glue tape. A glue tape that no need a glue anymore because of van der waals interaction and capillary forces. And the tape can be used over and over.

Spider Silk. Did you know that spider silk is very tough and much lighter than steel?! That nanostructure make it have extra properties in toughness, strength, and flexibility. So that people trying to mimic it to make a high quality surgical thread.

Lotus Effect. The nanostructure of lotus make it hydrophobic and let water on it always fall down and never make it wet. The always-falling-down water make the leaves always clean. That is because the lotus leaves have wax hydrophobic crystal around 1 nm in diameter. Then, what people mimic from the lotus is to make a wall paint that can wash its self when the rain come.

Then,let’s go to biotechnology inside! what the scientist still researching and developing about is Continue reading

Spelling F-A-K-H-R-I-A Molecularly

This is about my pretty cool experience that I’ve defined my name in molecular way. Amazingly, in fact there is truly F-A-K-H-R-I-A polypeptide does exist in one part of protein in certain organism.What the lucky organism that bring my name in his life? How could it work? And what the function of a protein contain my name? is it poisonous? is it usefull for pharmaceuticals? Can it save the world?, hehe, just check it out.

If you’ve read a biochemistry or biotechnology textbook or anything stuff about protein and it’s component, definitely you’ll find an amino acid symbolled by alphabet. So let me explain about a mean of my name by them.

Universal Symbol

Amino Acid

Code

mRNA codon

F

Phenylalanine

Phe

UUU;UUC

A

Alanine

Ala

GCU;GCC;GCA;GCG

K

Lysine

Lys

AAA;AAG

H

Histidine

His

CAU;CAC

R

Arginine

Arg

CGU;CGA;CGC;CGG

I

Isoleucine

Ile

AUU;AUC;AUA

A

Alanine

Ala

GCU;GCC;GCA;GCG

The next question is: where are the amino acids come from? They synthesized by a common mechanism and popular being a part of central dogma of molecular biology as we can see below. It is just an information flow from DNA to protein that create so many stuff of gene expression.

central-dogma

What the picture trying to illustrate is: Continue reading