Just as the skeleton and muscles move the human body and hold its shape, the cells of the body are stabilised and moved by a cellular skeleton. This cellular skeleton is a dynamic structure, constantly changing and renewing. It consists of different types of protein filaments, which include intermediate filaments and microtubules. Researchers from Göttingen University are the first to succeed in observing a direct interaction between microtubules and intermediate filaments outside the cell, and in measuring this.
A recent study by the open access publisher Frontiers shows the first evidence that the individual hair-like structures that form spiders' adhesive feet are far more diverse than expected. By looking at a sample set of these hairs, researchers have found that they have varied shapes as well as attachment properties. Understanding how spiders climb a wide range of surfaces may help scientists design new and better adhesives.
Light-driven molecular motors have been around for over twenty years. These motors typically take microseconds to nanoseconds for one revolution. Thomas Jansen, associate professor of physics at the University of Groningen, and Master's student Atreya Majumdar have now designed an even faster molecular motor. The new design is driven by light only and can make a full turn in picoseconds, using the power of a single photon.
3D models of bone formation provide a tool for tissue engineering, biomedical research and drug testing.
Osaka University researchers create an intelligent nanopore system sensitive enough to detect single SARS-CoV-2 virus particles. By training a machine-learning algorithm, the platform was able to identify between various coronaviruses in just five minutes. This work may lead to fast and accurate point-of-care testing for COVID and other communicable diseases.
Chemical engineers at the University of Illinois Chicago and UCLA have answered longstanding questions about the underlying processes that determine the life cycle of liquid foams. The breakthrough could help improve the commercial production and application of foams in a broad range of industries.
Sweat bees navigate through dark tropical forests guided by canopy patterns.
Scientists today track electrical signals and voltage changes in neurons and muscle cells by labeling individual cells or probing with electrodes. UC Berkeley and Stanford scientists have developed a new type of sensor that employs a sheet of graphene to get a continuous measure of electric field in these tissues. Electric fields change graphene's reflectance. The physicists found a way to amplify and measure the changes caused by action potentials in a beating embryonic chicken heart.
Goodbye, bulky components and connectors: A team of scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Germany and at the University of Colorado Boulder in the US has now found a new way to exploit the principles of spiders' joints to create lightweight robots.
An international team including researchers from The University of Tokyo Institute of Industrial Science has developed spherical colloidal particles for the visualization of rotational dynamics. The two-color fluorescent particles have an off-center core that allows tracking of dense suspensions using microscopy. The researchers observed coupling between the rotation of charged particles, correlation between local crystallinity and rotational diffusivity, and "slip-stick" friction between particles. The findings will enhance the understanding of biological systems and industrial processes.