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 Topologische Quantenchemie
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

nachricht Topological Quantum Chemistry
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>