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 Not of Divided Mind
19.01.2017 | Hertie-Institut für klinische Hirnforschung (HIH)

nachricht CRISPR meets single-cell sequencing in new screening method
19.01.2017 | CeMM Forschungszentrum für Molekulare Medizin der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland

19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Not of Divided Mind

19.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Molecule flash mob

19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>