A unique material based on cobweb proteins is being created by Russian researchers of the State Research Center of Russian Federation GosNIIgentics, Scientific Research Center “Coal-Chemical Fiber”, State Research Center of Applied Microbiology in cooperation with their colleagues from Michigan University with support form the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) (project 1033.2).
The spiders hunting net is built from several different proteins. Researchers are mostly interested in the proteins of cobweb framework filaments, which make them extremely strong (the rupture strength of these filaments is several times higher than that of steel) and elastic at the same time. Cobweb framework filaments consist of two proteins: spidroin-1 and spidroin-2. They differ slightly in their properties: spidroin-1 is considered to be stronger, and spidroin-2 – more elastic. Together they account for unique properties of spiders web. Such material would prove useful for multiple purposes, but fist of all – for medicine: as suture material, artificial ligaments and tendons, films for healing wounds and burns, etc.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to synthesize these proteins chemically in a laboratory – they are too complicated. However, it is possible to get the protein by synthesizing a respective gene and making it work within the composition of some microorganism. The scientists have chosen this particular biotechnological way.
Sergey Komarov | alfa
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The “TRiC” to folding actin
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Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
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Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
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The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.
Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends...
If certain signaling cascades are misregulated, diseases like cancer, obesity and diabetes may occur. A mechanism recently discovered by scientists at the Leibniz- Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) in Berlin and at the University of Geneva has a crucial influence on such signaling cascades and may be an important key for the future development of therapies against these diseases. The results of the study have just been published in the prestigious scientific journal 'Molecular Cell'.
Cell growth and cell differentiation as well as the release and efficacy of hormones such as insulin depend on the presence of lipids. Lipids are small...
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