On behalf of the journal Biomolecules (https://www.mdpi.com/journal/biomolecules), we introduce the discussion group “Intrinsically Disordered Proteins and the Janus Challenge”.
To gain insight into the role of proteins in the origin of life on Earth, two leading experts in the field of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) and the current Editors-in-Chief of the journal Biomolecules, Dr. Prakash Kulkarni and Dr. Vladimir N. Uversky, presented the Janus Challenge. This challenge consists in identifying an IDP, naturally occurring or synthetic, that has catalytic activity. Meeting this challenge may not only shed new light and even provide an alternative to the RNA world hypothesis, but may also serve as an impetus for technological advances with important biomedical applications.
A more comprehensive description of the Janus Challenge was published as an Editorial in the journal Biomolecules: https://www.mdpi.com/2218-273X/8/4/179
In order to support the Janus Challenge and improve the communication within the IDP community, we have opened this discussion group. Herewith, we aim to set in motion a debate in which every scientist can share their interesting ideas and points of views regarding the science behind the Janus Challenge.
The use of plant in vitro (bio)technologies offers an attractive alternative for the production of plant-based active ingredients. Plant cells are small factories able to synthesize an exceptional variety of commercially important phytochemicals used as flavors, dyes, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals, etc. Conventional plant propagation techniques are subjected to variety of pests, environmental challenges and poor management practices that adversely affect the quality and yield of these valuable phytochemicals. Plant in vitro culture platform offers considerable advantages and advancements over conventional phytochemical production techniques. However, during culture development, the yield of metabolites is generally low due to poor understanding of various factors that affect the biosynthetic pathway. Therefore, various strategies have been developed and reported to enhance biosynthesis of these phytochemicals in plant cell cultures. The recent emergence of omics technologies, molecular biology, metabolic engineering and synthetic biology has revolutionized diverse fields in life sciences. These modern aspects of life sciences have considerably influencing plant in vitro technology and phytochemical production. An application of these technologies is expanding horizons for an understanding of metabolic pathways involved in the biosynthesis of valuable biologically active ingredients and their cost-efficient production.
During the last decades, due to their ability to produce a very wide variety of molecules, plants have attracted a growing interest for research in cosmetics. The recent development of green technologies allowed the use of renewable raw materials and the development of new extraction processes more compatible with the rules of sustainable development. However, the use of plants is far from being a novelty. Human have historically exploited plants for their food, health or well-being, using, sometimes unknowingly, “basic chemistry processes” to extract bioactive ingredients.
Although there has long existed a pharmacopoeia that lists plants for therapeutic use, work in the field of traditional cosmetics is still poorly documented. From this observation, the concept of a cosmetopoeia was proposed to fill this gap. Thus, like the pharmacopoeia, the cosmetopoeia will be a register of the cosmetic use of plants.
This Group "Cosmetopoeia, from the traditional to the recent uses of plants in cosmetics" will focus on different aspects including (but not restricted to):
- Traditional uses (the new concept of ethnocosmetology) of plants, for the better knowledge and preservation of the traditional uses of plants in cosmetics.
- Rationalization of the biological activities of traditionally used plants and/or plant extracts using modern techniques.
- Development of new innovative and green extraction processes of bioactive ingredients from plants traditionally used for cosmetics.
These subjects will be developped in the following Special Issue of Cosmetics (MDPI):
(Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2019)