Stuart Lindsay, a researcher at the Biodesign Institute at ASU, has been at the forefront of efforts to improve rapid DNA sequencing and has more recently applied his talents to explore the much thornier problem of sequencing protein molecules, one molecule at a time. In a new overview article, Lindsay's efforts are described along with those of international colleagues, who are applying a variety of innovative strategies for protein sequencing at the single-cell, and even single-molecule level.
Bdelloid rotifers are multicellular animals so small you need a microscope to see them. Despite their size, they're known for being tough, capable of surviving through drying, freezing, starvation, and low oxygen. Now, researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on June 7, 2021 have found that not only can they withstand being frozen, but they can also persist for at least 24,000 years in the Siberian permafrost and survive.
Scientists at Leipzig University, in collaboration with colleagues from Germany and England, have succeeded in reversibly slowing down cellular processes. A team of biophysicists led by Professor Josef Alfons Käs and Dr Jörg Schnauß were able to show in experiments that cells can be transferred into slow motion without changing the temperature. From a physical point of view, such possibilities have so far only been available in the context of the theory of relativity.
In a trio of papers, researchers have discovered the detailed inner workings of the molecular motor that packages genetic material into double-stranded DNA viruses. The advance provides insight into a critical step in the reproduction cycle of viruses such as pox-, herpes- and adeno-viruses. It could also give inspiration to researchers creating microscopic machines based on naturally occurring biomotors.
A recent study by a team of researchers led by Yale-NUS researcher Dr. Vinod Kumar Saranathan has discovered a novel way to manufacture single gyroid photonic crystals to work in the visible light spectrum, based on the self-assembly mechanism found in blue-winged leafbirds.
Researchers from the Hubrecht Institute in Utrecht (The Netherlands) and the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Münster (Germany) used computer simulations to reveal in atomic detail how a short piece of DNA opens while it is tightly wrapped around the proteins that package our genome. These simulations provide unprecedented insights into the mechanisms that regulate gene expression. The results will be published in PLoS Computational Biology on the 3rd of June.
Researchers from Bochum and Osnabrück have gained new insights into the structure of the Ras protein, which acts as a molecular switch for cell growth and is involved in the development of cancer. With the help of fluorescence markings, they have demonstrated that the protein is deposited in a pair at the cell membrane, and with the very structure that they predicted in theory back in 2012.
A Virginia Tech team has discovered the method ducks use to suspend water in their feathers while diving, allowing them to shake it out when surfacing. The discovery opens the door for applications in marine technology.
Scientists at Kyoto University's Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) in Japan have developed a technology that produces high-resolution simulations of one of the basic units of our genomes, called the nucleosome. Their findings were published in the journal Nature Protocols and should help improve understanding of how changes in nucleosome folding influence the inner workings of genes.
Professor Hyung Joon Cha's team presents the interaction mechanism of components that make up the surface adhesive proteins. The research team reveals new synergy of adhesive molecules, clarifying the design principle of mussels' surface adhesive proteins.