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Archive for the 'Research' Category

Adding modular hydrogen-bond networks to protein design

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 15th, 2017

Computer designed networks of hydrogen bonds allow programming specific interactions of protein interfaces, facilitating programming molecular recognition.

Chemical fuel keeps molecular motor moving

Posted by Jim Lewis on September 4th, 2016

Removing the necessity of providing several different chemical fuels in a series of distinct steps, a novel chemically-fueled molecular motor autonomously produces movement as long as the fuel supply lasts.

Rational improvement of DNA nanodevice function

Posted by Jim Lewis on August 13th, 2016

Recent research documents a structure-based rational design strategy combining molecular dynamics and single molecule imaging to improve the performance of a DNA tweezers that accurately positions an enzyme and its cofactor.

Atomically precise location of dopants a step toward quantum computers

Posted by Jim Lewis on August 4th, 2016

Precise matching of STM images and theoretical calculations provides exact lattice locations of dopant atoms, advancing the prospects for silicon-based quantum computers.

Watching individual chemical bonds during a reaction

Posted by Jim Lewis on August 2nd, 2016

Combining computational nanotechnology with a noncontact-atomic force microscope probe tipped by a single CO molecule allowed researchers to visualize the dance of individual chemical bonds during a complex organic reaction on a silver surface.

Peptoid nanosheets assemble by different design rule

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 31st, 2016

Chains of monomers joined by non-biological peptoid bonds follow different rules of self-assembly and form structures not found in chains joined by the peptide bonds used to form proteins.

Engineered protein assembles molecules into atomically precise lattice

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 30th, 2016

An engineered protein controls the assembly of C60 fullerene molecules into an atomically precise lattice that conducts electricity while neither component alone would.

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.