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Understanding place-based contributors to health requires geographically and culturally diverse study populations, but sharing location data is a significant challenge to multisite studies. Here, we describe a standardized and reproducible method to perform geospatial analyses for multisite studies. Using census tract-level information, we created software for geocoding and geospatial data linkage that was distributed to a consortium of birth cohorts located throughout the USA. Individual sites performed geospatial linkages and returned tract-level information for 8810 children to a central site for analyses. Our generalizable approach demonstrates the feasibility of geospatial analyses across study sites to promote collaborative translational research.
Nature has developed myriad ways for organisms to interact with their environment using light and electronic signals. Optical and electronic properties can be observed macroscopically by measuring light emission or electrical current, but are conferred at the molecular level by the arrangement of small biological molecules, specifically proteins. Here, we present a brief overview of the current uses of proteins for applications in optical and electronic materials. We provide the natural context for a range of light-emitting, light-receiving, and electronically conductive proteins, as well as demonstrate uses in biomaterials. Examples of how genetic engineering has been used to expand the range of functional properties of naturally occurring proteins are provided. We touch on how approaches to patterning and scaffolding optical and electronic proteins can be achieved using proteins with this inherent capability. While much research is still required to bring their use into the mainstream, optical and electronic proteins have the potential to create biomaterials with properties unmatched using conventional chemical synthesis.
Here, we report that a marine sandworm Nereis virens jaw protein, Nvjp1, nucleates hemozoin with similar activity as the native parasite hemozoin protein, HisRPII. X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy confirm the identity of the hemozoin produced from Nvjp1-containing reactions. Finally, we observed that nAl assembled with hemozoin from Nvjp1 reactions has a substantially higher energetic output when compared to analogous thermite from the synthetic standard or HisRPII-nucleated hemozoin. Our results demonstrate that a marine sandworm protein can nucleate malaria pigment and set the stage for engineering recombinant hemozoin production for nanoenergetic applications.
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