The DNA biomolecule, responsible in nature for storing hereditary information, is being used increasingly as a component in nanotechnology. One successful approach for producing functional nanostructures from DNA is to insert metal ions into an artificial DNA double helix, which serves as a framework.
"If several metal ions are arranged next to each other in this way," says Prof. Jens Müller from the Institute of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry at WWU, "a molecule is produced which incorporates, so to speak, a one-dimensional wire." Together with researchers from the University of Zurich, his team has now produced an artificial DNA with a razor-thin "wire" inside, demonstrating in the process that the natural structure is preserved.
Prof. Müller's team replaced some of the so-called nucleobases, found inside each DNA spiral, with artificial components. "In the case of the DNA we have created, these artificial components are able to bind extremely tightly to silver ions," says Prof. Müller. "As a result, we have succeeded in arranging three silver ions directly next to each other inside the spiral, like a string of pearls." What's special about the structure of the DNA helix, which was determined in collaboration with researchers at the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Zurich, is the fact that the form of the spiral is hardly changed through the insertion of the metal ions. "Such information about the structure is enormously important for the further development of functionalized DNA," comments Prof. Müller.
Before the artificial DNA can be used in future as a nanowire or nanomagnet - or in analytics, e.g. to ascertain the existence of heavy metals in tap-water - further physical properties must first be examined in detail, now that the structure has been successfully clarified.
Jens Müller has been Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the WWU Münster since 2008. Before that he was a beneficiary of the Emmy Noether Programme for outstanding junior research staff at universities. Since January 2010 he has also been heading a subproject in the Collaborative Research Centre 858 - "Synergistic Effects in Chemistry: From Additivity to Cooperativity".
Reference: Johannsen S. et al. (2010): Solution structure of a DNA double helix with consecutive metal-mediated base pairs; Nature Chemistry, Published online: 17 January 2010 | doi:10.1038/nchem.512
Dr. Christina Heimken | idw
Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences