A team of scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has developed a method that could speed up the process of identifying novel protein molecules for medical or biological research hundreds of times over.
In today’s high-throughput searches for specific genes, proteins or protein interactions, plates containing rows of tiny wells have replaced old-fashioned test tubes. However, trawling for a gene or protein with just the right qualifications may require sorting through millions, or even billions, of possibilities. Instead of wells, the new method, developed by Dr. Dan Tawfik and Amir Aharoni of the Institute’s Biological Chemistry Department and Prof. Shlomo Magdassi of the Hebrew University’s Institute of Chemistry with support from the Israel Ministry of Science and Technology, relies on microscopic droplets of water suspended inside oil droplets. Using their system, millions of tests can be performed at once.
The method, which relies on a type of emulsion dubbed WOW, for water-oil-water, takes a page from living cells, which employ a fatty membrane to keep the inside and outside environments separate. The oily layer surrounding each miniscule water droplet acts as a barrier, keeping genes, proteins and other materials contained. Alternately, the team inserted harmless bacteria containing genes for testing into the drops. Confining individual tests within a cell-like bubble allowed them to employ a widely-used method for analyzing living cells. This method involves adding a fluorescent marker that lights up in color when activated by the right protein and sorting through the cells for those containing the marked proteins and their coding genes. Automated devices for sorting cells can handle many thousands of droplets per second. "Searches that now take a year to complete can be done in a matter of days," says Tawfik.
Elizabeth McCrocklin | EurekAlert!
Decoding the genome's cryptic language
27.02.2017 | University of California - San Diego
New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.
On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
27.02.2017 | Materials Sciences
27.02.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research
27.02.2017 | Life Sciences