A team of chemists at the University of Reading, led by Professor Howard Colquhoun, have designed a system in which a tweezer-like molecule is able to recognise specific monomer sequences in a linear copolymer. As a result, and for the first time ever, sequence-information in a synthetic polymer has been ‘read’ by a mechanism which mirrors one of the processes on which life itself is based.
The discovery is described in two papers: Recognition of polyimide sequence information by a molecular tweezer (H.M. Colquhoun and Z. Zhu, Angewandte Chemie, International Edition, 2004, Issue 38, p. 5040) and Principles of sequence-recognition in aromatic polyimides (H.M. Colquhoun, Z. Zhu, C.J. Cardin and Y. Gan, Chemical Communications, 2004, Issue 23, p. 2650). These journals are regarded worldwide as the most important media for the publication of urgent communications on important new developments in the chemical sciences.
Professor Colquhoun and his colleague Dr Zhu designed the ‘tweezer’ so that it binds at particular sites along the polymer chain – namely, at the sequences which complement its own structure most closely. The researchers then used spectroscopic methods to show that the molecular tweezer can bind bind at both adjacent and non-adjacent sites along the polymer chain. From this evidence, the specific sequences present within the copolymer, which is made of several different structural units, could be clearly identified. A full and detailed picture of the way in which the tweezer binds to the polymer chain was finally obtained when Dr Zhu obtained crystals of a complex between the tweezer and a model oligomer and their structure was determined by Dr Cardin and Ms Gan.
Craig Hillsley | alfa
First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife
Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences
25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.10.2016 | Process Engineering