Physics of Biology


Quantum Biometric

Authors: George Rajna

Scientists in Greece have devised a new form of biometric identification that relies on humans' ability to see flashes of light containing just a handful of photons. [22] A research team led by Professor CheolGi Kim has developed a biosensor platform using magnetic patterns resembling a spider web with detection capability 20 times faster than existing biosensors. [21] Researchers at Columbia University have made a significant step toward breaking the so-called "color barrier" of light microscopy for biological systems, allowing for much more comprehensive, system-wide labeling and imaging of a greater number of biomolecules in living cells and tissues than is currently attainable. [20] Scientists around the Nobel laureate Stefan Hell at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen have now achieved what was for a long time considered impossible – they have developed a new fluorescence microscope, called MINFLUX, allowing, for the first time, to optically separate molecules, which are only nanometers (one millionth of a millimeter) apart from each other. [19] Dipole orientation provides new dimension in super-resolution microscopy [18] Fluorescence is an incredibly useful tool for experimental biology and it just got easier to tap into, thanks to the work of a group of University of Chicago researchers. [17] Molecules that change colour can be used to follow in real-time how bacteria form a protective biofilm around themselves. This new method, which has been developed in collaboration between researchers at Linköping University and Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, may in the future become significant both in medical care and the food industry, where bacterial biofilms are a problem. [16] Researchers led by Carnegie Mellon University physicist Markus Deserno and University of Konstanz (Germany) chemist Christine Peter have developed a computer simulation that crushes viral capsids. By allowing researchers to see how the tough shells break apart, the simulation provides a computational window for looking at how viruses and proteins assemble. [15] 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]

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[v1] 2017-05-05 02:32:22

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