Physics of Biology


Super-Efficient Light Harvesting

Authors: George Rajna

In its billions of years on earth, plant life has become super-efficient at using light – and now it's showing how it does it. [19] An elusive biological cycle in the eye-the daily disposal and regeneration of the end tips of photoreceptor cells-has been captured in images for the first time in a living human eye. Photoreceptors are light-sensitive cells responsible for initiating vision. This glimpse into the inner workings of the eye will help scientists better understand, prevent and manage major eye diseases that affect photoreceptors like age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. [18] A protein found within the powerhouse of a cell could be the key to holding back the march of time, research by scientists at The University of Nottingham has shown. [ IBM scientists have developed a new lab-on-a-chip technology that can, for the first time, separate biological particles at the nanoscale and could enable physicians to detect diseases such as cancer before symptoms appear. [14] Scientists work toward storing digital information in DNA. [13] Leiden theoretical physicists have proven that DNA mechanics, in addition to genetic information in DNA, determines who we are. Helmut Schiessel and his group simulated many DNA sequences and found a correlation between mechanical cues and the way DNA is folded. They have published their results in PLoS One. [12] We model the electron clouds of nucleic acids in DNA as a chain of coupled quantum harmonic oscillators with dipole-dipole interaction between nearest neighbours resulting in a van der Waals type bonding. [11]

Comments: 35 Pages.

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[v1] 2016-11-01 09:24:04

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