By Ben Hirschler (Reuters) - Dutch scientists have developed an artificial leaf that can act as a mini-factory for producing drugs, an advance that could allow medicines to be produced anywhere there is sunlight. The work taps into the ability of plants to use sunlight to feed themselves through photosynthesis, something industrial chemists have struggled to replicate because sunshine usually generates too little energy to fuel chemical reactions. The leaf-inspired micro factory mimics nature's efficiency at harvesting solar radiation by using new materials called luminescent solar concentrators with very thin channels through which liquid is pumped, exposing molecules to sunlight. "Theoretically, you could use this device to make drug compounds with solar energy anywhere you want," said lead researcher Timothy Noel at Eindhoven University of Technology. By doing away with the need for a power grid, it may be possible one day to make malaria drugs in the jungle or even medicines on Mars in some future space colony, he believes. The device, made from silicone rubber, can operate even when there is diffuse light, which means it will work under cloudy skies. However, there is still a way to go to scale up the process to make it commercially viable. Noel and his colleagues, who published their research in the science journal Angewandte Chemie on Wednesday, are now trying to improve energy efficiency further and increase output. Because the artificial leaf relies on micro-channels to bring chemicals into direct contact with sunlight, each unit needs to be small - but they could be easily linked together to increase production. "You can make a whole tree with many, many different leaves placed in parallel," Noel told Reuters. "These are very cheap things to make, so there is a lot of potential." He thinks the process could start to become broadly available to chemical engineers within five to 10 years. It is not the first time that scientists have drawn inspiration from plants when considering novel ways to manufacture pharmaceuticals. In 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a drug called Elelyso from Pfizer and Protalix Biotherapeutics for Gaucher disease, a rare genetic condition, made with genetically modified carrot cells. Other researchers are also cultivating crops that have been specially bred to produce useful medicines and vaccines in their leaves.
- The Daily Beast
Sergei Karpukhin/ReutersTwo explosions at major Russian military bases, including the Dyagilevo base near Ryazan just 150 miles from Moscow, mean the war in Ukraine has come right to Vladimir Putin’s doorstep. The explosions—which may have been missile or drone strikes but that has yet to be confirmed—suggest that whoever is behind them wanted to strike fear right in the heart of Russia.The second explosion struck the Engels-2 base, from which Tu-95 bombers have been pummeling Ukraine’s infrastr
Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes will be benched from their anchoring duties at ABC News’ “GMA3′ while the news division weighs the effect their recent disclosure of a romantic relationship might have on the program and the company, ABC News President Kim Godwin informed staffers Monday. Godwin told ABC News employees during an editorial call […]
- The Daily Beast
William T. Newland Elementary SchoolAn elementary school principal died in an apparent suicide after jumping from a multistory parking structure at Disneyland in California, officials said.Anaheim Police said they found a man dead when they were called to the amusement park just before 9 p.m. on Saturday. On Sunday, the Orange County coroner identified the man as 51-year-old Christopher Christensen, the principal of William T. Newland Elementary School in Huntington Beach. Officials said his dea
Chris Christie's niece bit and kicked deputies trying to escort her off a Spirit Airlines flight after she asked passengers who she thought were Latino if they were 'smuggling cocaine,' report says
Shannon Epstein reportedly yelled that the deputies who arrested her would get in trouble because of her uncle's connection to former President Donald Trump.
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Before Sunday, Ezekiel Elliott had started all 97 games of his career dating back to 2016. He was benched in the 98th game for disciplinary reasons.
- AZCentral | The Arizona Republic
Kari Lake promises to keep fighting the election in court. Lawyers that might help her would be wise to consider what a federal judge just did.
- The Tuscaloosa News
Here's what Alabama football coach Nick Saban about his team missing the College Football Playoff and possible opt-outs for what will be Sugar Bowl.
Incoming House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries says there's 'a real risk' that the new GOP majority in the chamber will be 'hijacked by the extremists'
"They have not articulated a vision for addressing the economic concerns of the American people," Jeffries said of House Republicans to CNN.
- Touchdown Wire
It felt cruel to watch Jeff Saturday leave Matt Ryan in against the Cowboys
Christopher Christensen, the principal of Newland Elementary School in Huntington Beach, died Saturday.
- Nittany Lions Wire
With two teams in the College Football Playoff, the Big Ten is set to leave one bowl spot vacant
- Miami Herald
The gun, sold in the U.S., is the “most dangerous” for whoever uses it, the lawsuit states.
Trump "says a lot of things," noted Ohio Rep. David Joyce, who insisted he "can't be chasing every one of these crazy statements."
- Women's Health
Actress Dakota Johnson stunned people while wearing a pantsuit and crystal corset to the SXSW premiere of her film 'Cha Cha Real Smooth' in March 2022.
- Commanders Wire
Jonathan Allen pays respect to Taylor Heinicke's completion to Curtis Samuel to keep the game-tying drive alive.
- Sacramento Bee
“I heard her screaming and crying and I thought she fell down and I saw the coyote was there.”
- The Hill
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) on Sunday condemned former President Trump as “an enemy of the Constitution” after he called for terminating the document over unfounded claims of mass electoral fraud in the 2020 presidential election. “Donald Trump believes we should terminate ‘all rules, regulations and articles, even those found in the Constitution’ to overturn the…
"Chris, please come to my wedding."View Entire Post ›
- The Wrap
Jake Tapper Slams Marjorie Taylor Greene’s ‘Play Acting’ Takedown of Fuentes: ‘Might Make More Sense’ if They Didn’t Share a Stage (Video)
"I confess, I'm finding all these contortions to defend Nazism and the tolerance of Nazism rather difficult to stomach," Tapper says
- Rolling Stone
“Attacking the Constitution… should be universally condemned,” White House Deputy Secretary says, alongside the rest of the sane world