Physics of Biology

   

Energy Highway along Protein Strands

Authors: George Rajna

The theory explaining how polarons carry energy in crystals can be applied to long molecules called polypeptides—which can fold into proteins. [25] Two new computational tools, MSMuTect and MSMutSig, could help reveal how often mutations in common DNA features called microsatellites appear in, and contribute to, cancer. [24] A Northeastern research team has developed new technology that optimizes DNA sequencing using nanophysics and electric currents. [23] Nevertheless, the accumulation of DNA damage is a cause of aging. A team of scientists based at CECAD at the University of Cologne is now trying to better understand the damage to the genome driving the aging process. [22] By taking a different approach, however, researchers at Houston Methodist made a surprising discovery leading to the development of technology with the ability to rejuvenate human cells. [21] The stiffness or elasticity of a cell can reveal much about whether the cell is healthy or diseased. Cancer cells, for instance, are known to be softer than normal, while asthma-affected cells can be rather stiff. [20] Scientists at the University of Bonn have succeeded in observing an important cell protein at work using a method that measures structural changes within complex molecules. [19] Scientists have now explored a modified form that can produce light-generated electrons and store them for catalytic hydrogen production even after the light has been switched off. They present this biomimetic photosynthesis approach in the journal Angewandte Chemie. [18] Scientists at The Australian National University (ANU) have designed a nano crystal around 500 times smaller than a human hair that turns darkness into visible light and can be used to create lightweight night-vision glasses. [17] Magnets instead of antibiotics could provide a possible new treatment method for blood infection. [16] One of the biggest challenges in cognitive or rehabilitation neurosciences is the ability to design a functional hybrid system that can connect and exchange information between biological systems, like neurons in the brain, and human-made electronic devices. [15]

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[v1] 2017-09-13 11:42:53

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