Processes catalyzed by enzymes offer numerous advantages over chemical methods although in many occasions the stability of the biocatalysts becomes a serious concern. 

Living organisms sense and respond to light, a crucial environmental factor, using photoreceptors, which rely on bound chromophores such as retinal, flavins, or linear tetrapyrroles for light sensing.

The N-acetylglucosaminidase NagZ of Pseudomonas aeruginosa catalyzes the first cytoplasmic step in recycling of muropeptides, cell-wall-derived natural products.

Coincident with the anniversary of the demise of our colleague Noé García Almarza, Soft Matter has published one of his last research studies that has also been highlighted in the Inside Front Cover of the aforementioned journal.

oxidantesOzone (O3) and hydroxyl (OH) and nitrate (NO3) radicals are the main atmospheric components that oxidize organic and inorganic pollutants, therefore affecting air quality, environmental health and climate. Measurements from the air quality monitoring network in Madrid show an increase in ozone levels of 30-40% from 2007 to 2014, while nitrogen dioxide (NO2) has dropped by 20-40%. Based on these measurements and a high spatial resolution air quality model, we estimate an average increase of 10% and 32% in OH and NO3, respectively, in Madrid, with increases of up to 70% and 90%, respectively, downtown. Our results also show a reduction of 11% in nitric acid (HNO3), which implies a considerable denoxification of the urban atmosphere and decrease of the minus 2.5 micrometre particle (PM2.5) levels. These results suggest that current NOx (NO + NO2) emission reduction policies lead to significant changes in the chemistry and the oxidative capacity of the atmosphere in and around large cities. The image shows the modelled change in OH levels between 2007 and 2014. These results have been published in Scientific Reports.

A. Saiz-Lopez, R. Borge, A. Notario, J. A. Adame, D. de la Paz, X. Querol, B. Artíñano, F. J. Gómez-Moreno & C. A. Cuevas. “Unexpected increase in the oxidation capacity of the urban atmosphere of Madrid, Spain”. Sci. Rep. (2017) 7, 45956.
DOI: 10.1038/srep45956