The knowledge of the electronic properties of DNA is an important issue in many scientific areas from biochemistry to nanotechnology -- for example in the study of DNA damage by ultraviolet radiation that may cause the generation of free radicals and genetic mutations. In those cases, DNA repair occurs spontaneously via an electronic charge transfer along the DNA helix that restores the damaged molecular bonds.
In nano-bioelectronics, which is the advanced research field devoted to the study of biological molecules (to produce electrical nanocircuits, for example), it has been suggested that DNA, or its derivatives, may become used as possible conducting molecular wires in the realization of molecular computing networks which are smaller and more efficient than those produced today with silicon technology.
The knowledge that has been acquired in this project, say the researchers, may also be relevant for current attempts to develop new sophisticated, reliable, faster and cheaper ways to decode the sequence of human DNA.
The research, published in the prestigious journal Nature Materials, is a result of an international collaboration. The research was conducted by Errez Shapir and coordinated by Dr. Danny Porath at the Department of Physical Chemistry and Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at the Hebrew University and by Dr. Rosa Di Felice at the S3 Center of INFM-CNR in Modena, Italy. Also collaborating in the project were Prof. Alexander Kotlyar at Tel Aviv University, who synthesized the molecules, the CINECA supercomputing center in Italy, and Prof. Gianaurelio Cuniberti at the University of Regensburg, Germany.
In their work, the researchers were able to decode the electronic structure of DNA and to understand how the electrons distribute into the various parts of the double helix, a result that has been pursued by scientists for many years, but was previously hindered by technical problems.
The success of this project was finally achieved thanks to collaboration between experimental and theoretical scientists who worked with long and homogeneous DNA molecules at minus 195 degrees Celsius, using a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) to measure the current that passes across a molecule deposited on a gold substrate. Then, by means of theoretical calculations based on the solution of quantum equations, the electronic structure of DNA corresponding to the measured current has been obtained. These results also suggest an identification of the parts of the double helix that contribute to the charge flow along the molecule.
Jerry Barach | The Hebrew University
Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences