Physics of Biology

   

Neutrons Angle on DNA and RNA

Authors: George Rajna

Scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Maryland are using neutrons at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to capture new information about DNA and RNA molecules and enable more accurate computer simulations of how they interact with everything from proteins to viruses. [18] The DNA molecules are chiral, which means they can exist in two forms which are mirror images, like a left and right hand. The phenomenon was dubbed "chiral induced spin selectivity" (CISS), and over the last few years, several experiments were published allegedly showing this CISS effect, even in electronic devices. [17] Chemist Ivan Huc finds the inspiration for his work in the molecular principles that underlie biological systems. [16] What makes particles self-assemble into complex biological structures? [15] Scientists from Moscow State University (MSU) working with an international team of researchers have identified the structure of one of the key regions of telomerase-a so-called "cellular immortality" ribonucleoprotein. [14] Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University used a light-sensitive iridium-palladium catalyst to make "sequential" polymers, using visible light to change how building blocks are combined into polymer chains. [13] Researchers have fused living and non-living cells for the first time in a way that allows them to work together, paving the way for new applications. [12] UZH researchers have discovered a previously unknown way in which proteins interact with one another and cells organize themselves. [11] Dr Martin Sweatman from the University of Edinburgh's School of Engineering has discovered a simple physical principle that might explain how life started on Earth. [10] Nearly 75 years ago, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Erwin Schrödinger wondered if the mysterious world of quantum mechanics played a role in biology. A recent finding by Northwestern University's Prem Kumar adds further evidence that the answer might be yes. [9]

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[v1] 2019-06-20 05:32:24

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