Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

No Longer Just for Biology, RNA Can Now be Built Into 3-D Arrays

25.08.2004


Researchers have coaxed RNA to self-assemble into 3-D arrays, a potential backbone for nanotech scaffolds. These RNA structures can form a wider variety of shapes than double-stranded DNA can and are easier to manipulate than many protein alternatives.



Peixuan Guo of Purdue University and his colleagues report the findings in the August 11, 2004, issue of the journal Nano Letters.

RNA (ribonucleic acid) molecules are best known for implementing the genetic information encoded in DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). However, instead of using the long molecular strings to carry information, the researchers have achieved new control over RNA and created novel arrays.


By mixing the custom-made RNA strands with other substances, such as magnesium chloride, the researchers were able to get the strands to join into 3-D shapes.

In 1987, Guo discovered that a bacteria-infecting virus possesses a biomolecular nanomotor that requires RNA molecules to function. While determining how RNA works in that motor, he learned to manipulate and control RNA assembly.

Now, Guo and his colleagues have applied that knowledge to building artificial RNA nanostructures, including “large” 3-D arrays formed from identical RNA building blocks. Because these arrays extend to several micrometers, far larger than individual RNA strands, they may potentially link nanofabrication with current microfabrication processes.

The researchers hope that the arrays, while still in the earliest stages of development, will one day serve as the scaffolding on which diagnostic chips, tiny sensors, gene delivery vehicles and other nanoscale devices will be mounted or constructed.

From the researchers:

“Living systems contain a wide variety of nanomachines and ordered structures, including motors, pumps and valves. Our research is devoted to making these machines function outside their native environment.” – Peixuan Guo, Purdue University

“We have discovered a particular type of RNA molecule known as pRNA, or packaging RNA, that forms six-unit rings that can drive a tiny but powerful molecular motor.” – Peixuan Guo

“Our future research will focus on incorporating these nanomachines into nanodevices for such applications as drug or gene delivery, gears for nano-equipment, and intricate arrays and chips for diagnostic devices, sensors and electronics.” – Peixuan Guo

“This report demonstrates that RNA can be used to form a variety of artificial shapes and that we can assemble these shapes into arrays tens of microns in size. Using RNA’s tendency to self-assemble, we have built the arrays from many thousands of connected RNA building blocks. The arrays are stable and resistant to a wide range of environmental conditions, such as temperature, salt concentration, and pH.” – Peixuan Guo

From experts at NSF:

“The discovery of this viral RNA machine is quite remarkable and provides yet another example of the flexibility and versatility of RNA. Dr. Guo is exploiting the properties of RNA in a new and potentially important way.” – Patrick Dennis, Program Director for Microbial Genetics at the National Science Foundation and the officer who oversees Dr. Guo’s award.

| newswise
Further information:
http://news.uns.purdue.edu/html4ever/2004/040811.Guo.scaffold.html
http://www.vet.purdue.edu/PeixuanGuo/
http://www.nsf.gov

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New application for acoustics helps estimate marine life populations
16.01.2018 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht Unexpected environmental source of methane discovered
16.01.2018 | University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk

17.01.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Only an atom thick: Physicists succeed in measuring mechanical properties of 2D monolayer materials

17.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Fraunhofer HHI receives AIS Technology Innovation Award 2018 for 3D Human Body Reconstruction

17.01.2018 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>