Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Nature inspires DNA/protein

25.03.2003


A new generation of nanoscale devices are being developed based on inspiration found in nature. Grazyna Sroga, a postdoctoral researcher at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is using DNA and related proteins to construct microscopic structures that may one day conduct electricity, deliver drugs, boost computer memory, or sense the presence or absence of chemicals. She is working in the laboratory of Jonathan S. Dordick, the Howard P. Isermann ’42 professor of chemical engineering.



Sroga is presenting her research at the 225th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, held March 23-27 in New Orleans, La.

Taking Advantage of Years of Evolution


Dordick and Sroga use a combination of hybrid proteins to manipulate normally linear DNA strands into unusual shapes, including three-dimensional cubes. These new shapes can then be encouraged to self-assemble based on molecular interactions. The ability of these bio-inspired nanostructures to spontaneously assemble saves researchers’ time and effort, representing an advantage over other approaches to nanoproduction that do not utilize biologic materials.

This research (funded by the Biotech Research and Development Corporation and the National Science Foundation, through Rensselaer’s Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center) is still in its infancy. Constructing new devices based on biological models, however, may mean that potential pitfalls have already been worked out over years of natural evolution. When it comes to design, "it is likely that nature does it better," says Sroga. Tools constructed of hybrid biomaterials, for example, may be hypoallergenic, making medical application of such devices less likely to lead to rejection by the body’s systems.


About Nanotechnology at Rensselaer
In September 2001, the National Science Foundation (NSF) selected Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as one of six sites nationwide for a new Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC). Center researchers are part of a high-priority national effort to work at the atomic and molecular level to alter the most basic structure of materials. The mission of the center is to integrate research, education, and technology dissemination, and serve as a national resource for fundamental knowledge and applications in the directed assembly of nanostructures. The center’s goals include discovering novel pathways to assemble functional multiscale nanostructures, exciting and educating students of all ages in nanoscale science and engineering, and working hand-in-hand with industry to develop nanotechnology for the benefit of society.

About Rensselaer
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is the nation’s oldest technological university. The school offers degrees in engineering, the sciences, information technology, architecture, management, and the humanities and social sciences. Institute programs serve undergraduates, graduate students, and working professionals around the world. Rensselaer faculty members are known for pre-eminence in research conducted in a wide range of research centers that are characterized by strong industry partnerships. The Institute is especially well known for its success in the transfer of technology from the laboratory to the marketplace so that new discoveries and inventions benefit human life, protect the environment, and strengthen economic development.

CONTACT: Jonathan Dordick 518-276-2899; dordick@rpi.edu
Grazyna Sroga 518-276-2811; srogag@rpi.edu

CONTACT (During the ACS Meeting): The ACS press room 504-586-4650 (Morial Convention Center, room 280)


Joely Johnson | EurekAlert!

More articles from Interdisciplinary Research:

nachricht Easier Diagnosis of Esophageal Cancer
06.03.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Sandia uses confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance
27.02.2017 | DOE/Sandia National Laboratories

All articles from Interdisciplinary Research >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Big data approach to predict protein structure

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Parallel computation provides deeper insight into brain function

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Weather extremes: Humans likely influence giant airstreams

27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>