Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

First Computer Simulation of Structure of RNA-Molecules

15.02.2008
For a long time ribonucleic acids were just regarded as carriers transferring genetic information in the cell nucleus.

The manifold biological importance of small RNA-fragments has only been recognized in the last years: they have important regulatory and catalytic functions within the cell.

What scientists had only been able to examine in experiments so far, has now been simulated on a computer for the first time by Dr. Dietmar Paschek, a chemist of Technische Universität Dortmund, together with his American colleague, Prof. Angel Garcia. Their innovative method describes the complex folding process of RNA-molecules, which happens on the microsecond-scale, to be viewed in detailed single steps with atomic resolution.

A standard personal computer would have to run for 35 years to simulate the complex process. That is why Paschek teamed up with his colleague from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York (USA), as this institute currently owns the world’s biggest university-based computer cluster. The simulation was only made possible by using a parallel computer code developed in Dortmund. For the first time the molecular environment, including the solvent water, was described in a very realistic way.

This offers the chance to observe the behavior of an RNA-molecule within its natural environment and provides clues regarding the function and possible reactions of different RNA-molecules in the cell. Small RNA fragments have been shown to be able to specifically disable genes in laboratory tests. A discovery, for which the US-scientists Andrew Z. Fire and Craig C. Mello received the 2006 Nobel Prize for Medicine.

Even if the simulation work of Paschek and Garcia, which could build the basis for research into and further development of this and other ways of using RNA, still is singular pioneering, it could become routine in some years in view of the exponentially increasing computer power. But they can already be sure of their colleagues’ recognition.

In the latest edition of the prestigeous “Journal of the American Chemical Society” the two scientists present their results. Moreover, Dietmar Paschek was invited to report about their innovative simulation methods within the scope of a plenary lecture at this year’s American Chemical Society national meeting in New Orleans.

Ole Luennemann | alfa
Further information:
http://www.tu-dortmund.de

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Snake-inspired robot uses kirigami to move
22.02.2018 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

nachricht Camera technology in vehicles: Low-latency image data compression
22.02.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, HHI

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Keen Sense for Molecules

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

“Laser Technology Live” at the AKL’18 International Laser Technology Congress in Aachen

23.02.2018 | Trade Fair News

Newly designed molecule binds nitrogen

23.02.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>