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Archive for the 'Research' Category

Another powerful nanoengine remembered

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 11th, 2016

The claim that the recently reported actuating nanotransducers (ANTS) produce forces “orders of magnitude larger than any produced previously” is challenged by a nanocrystal carbon nanotube device reported 11 years ago.

Simulation of quantum entanglement with subsurface dopant atoms

Posted by Jim Lewis on June 9th, 2016

Atomic resolution measurement of quasi-particle tunneling maps of spin-resolved states reveals interference processes that allow simulation of processes important for developing quantum computers based on atomically precise doping of silicon.

Protein design provides a novel metabolic path for carbon fixation

Posted by Jim Lewis on June 8th, 2016

Computational design of an enzyme that carboligates three one-carbon molecules to form one three-carbon molecule, an activity that does not exist in nature, provides proof-of-principle for a novel metabolic pathway for carbon fixation.

Powerful nanoengine built from coated nanoparticles

Posted by Jim Lewis on June 5th, 2016

A nanoengine 100 times more powerful than known nanomotors and muscles was demonstrated using the aggregation and dispersal of gold nanoparticles coated with a polymer that undergoes a rapid transition from hydrophobic to hydrophilic.

Triple helices stabilize macroscopic crystals for DNA nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 5th, 2016

A DNA strand capable of forming a triple helix with a portion of the DNA double helices in a macroscopic DNA crystal enhances the weak interactions holding the crystal together so that the crystal remains stable in the absence of a high ionic strength environment.

DNA triplex formation decorates DNA crystals with sub-nanometer precision

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 3rd, 2016

A specially designed triplex forming oligonucleotide bearing a cargo molecule binds to a specific sequence in the major groove of a DNA double helix to form a modified DNA tile that self assembles into a macroscopic crystal in which each helix carries a cargo molecule positioned to sub-nanometer precision.

Macroscopic DNA crystals from molecular tensegrity triangles

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 2nd, 2016

Structural DNA nanotechnology: progress toward a precise self-assembling three dimensional scaffold by building macroscopic crystals from nanoscale structures.

Five ionized atoms provide scalable implementation of quantum computation algorithm

Posted by Jim Lewis on April 3rd, 2016

Five calcium ions held several micrometers apart in an ion trap and manipulated by laser pulses implement Shor’s factorization algorithm more efficiently than previous implementations.

DNA nanotechnology defeats drug resistance in cancer cells

Posted by Jim Lewis on April 2nd, 2016

Small, stiff, rectangular rods made using scaffolded DNA origami bypass drug resistance mechanisms in the membranes of a cultured leukemia cell line and release enough therapeutic drug to kill the cancer cell.

Crowd-sourced RNA structure design uncovers new insights

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 12th, 2016

Thousands of amateurs playing the online RNA folding game Eterna, backed up by a real-world automated lab testing their predictions, have provided insights to improve the algorithms computers use to design RNA molecules.

Tightly-fitted DNA parts form dynamic nanomachine

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 10th, 2016

A rotor with DNA origami parts held together by an engineered tight fit instead of by covalent bonds can revolve freely, driven by Brownian motion and dwelling at engineered docking sites.

DNA nanotechnology provides new ways to arrange nanoparticles into crystal lattices

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 19th, 2016

Two research teams present two different methods for using single strands of DNA to link various nanoparticles into complex 3D arrays: one using DNA hairpins for dynamic reconfiguration and the other using a DNA origami scaffold.

Improving crystallographic resolution through using less perfect crystals

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 18th, 2016

A paradigm shift in analyzing diffraction from smaller, less perfect crystals yields improved resolution and enables directly determining the phase of the diffraction pattern.

DNA nanotechnology cages localize and optimize enzymatic reactions

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 16th, 2016

Encapsulating enzymes in nanocages engineered using structural DNA nanotechnology increases enzymatic digestion and protects enzymes from degradation.

Multiple advances in de novo protein design and prediction

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 14th, 2016

New families of protein structures, barrel proteins for positioning small molecules, self-assembling protein arrays, and precision sculpting of protein architectures highlight de novo protein design advances.

Rational design of protein architectures not found in nature

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 11th, 2016

Computational design of proteins satisfying predetermined geometric constraints produced stable proteins with the designed structure that are not found in nature.

De novo protein design space extends far beyond biology

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 3rd, 2016

A fully automated design protocol generates dozens of designs for proteins based on helix-loop-helix-loop repeat units that are very stable, have crystal structures that match the design, have very different overall shapes, and are unrelated to any natural protein.

Conference video: Nanoscale Materials, Devices, and Processing Predicted from First Principles

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 15th, 2016

Prof. William Goddard presented four advances from his research group that enable going from first principles quantum mechanics calculations to realistic nanosystems of interest with millions or billions of atoms.

DNA nanotechnology controls which molecules enter cells

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 13th, 2016

DNA building blocks mimic biological ion channels to more precisely control which molecules can cross a biological membrane.

Molecular arm grabs, transports, releases molecular cargo

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 12th, 2016

A molecular robotic arm synthesized from small synthetic organic molecules uses cyclic changes in pH and other reaction conditions to grab and release a cargo molecule, and swing the cargo back and forth between the two ends of the molecular platform.