Duke University researchers have used self-assembling DNA molecules as molecular building blocks called "tiles" to construct protein-bearing scaffolds and metal wires at the billionths of a meter, or "nanoscale."
The achievements in nanoscale synthesis, which the five authors said could lead to programmable molecular scale sensors or electronic circuitry, were described in a paper in the Sept. 26, 2003, issue of the journal Science written by HaoYan, Thom LaBean, Gleb Finkelstein, Sung Ha Park and John Reif.
The Duke groups research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, and an industrial partners arrangement with Taiko Denki Co., Ltd. Fashioning protein nanoscaffolds and silver nanowires may be only the beginning, because tiles of this form "can be easily programmed by varying the sticky ends to form more sophisticated arrays," the authors wrote.
Monte Basgall | EurekAlert!
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The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.
Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...
Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.
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Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently completed a 5-year research project looking at how to make fibre optic communications systems more energy efficient. Among their proposals are smart, error-correcting data chip circuits, which they refined to be 10 times less energy consumptive. The project has yielded several scientific articles, in publications including Nature Communications.
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After helping develop a new approach for organic synthesis -- carbon-hydrogen functionalization -- scientists at Emory University are now showing how this approach may apply to drug discovery. Nature Catalysis published their most recent work -- a streamlined process for making a three-dimensional scaffold of keen interest to the pharmaceutical industry.
"Our tools open up whole new chemical space for potential drug targets," says Huw Davies, Emory professor of organic chemistry and senior author of the paper.
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