The vials shown here contain a molecule that researchers can activate with light to affect biological processes in mammals. It’s part of a class of potential smart drugs that are under development to treat ailments including diabetes, blindness, and the side effects of chemotherapy. Because the molecules turn on only when hit with a certain wavelength of light, researchers can control when and where the compounds are active in the body. This photo was taken by Dusan Kolarski, a graduate student at the University of Groningen in the lab of Ben Feringa, who won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on molecular machines. Feringa’s group is working to create antibiotics that can be activated with light and thus may pose a lower risk of bacterial resistance. The team also wants to make water-soluble motors for applications in photopharmacology.
Submitted by Dusan Kolarski
Do science. Take pictures. Win money. Enter our photo contest here.
Related C&EN Content: