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Archive for the 'Bionanotechnology' Category

Christine Peterson interviewed on nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 12th, 2013

An interview with Foresight Co-Founder and Past President Christine Peterson covering both the current state and the future prospects of nanotechnology is available on Youtube.

Synthetic biology industrial revolution inspires hope for molecular manufacturing

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 2nd, 2013

A demonstration that most fundamental biological processes can be implemented in a test tube as efficiently as in live bacteria provides synthetic biology the tools to create a ‘new industrial revolution’, which may or may not lead to more general molecular manufacturing.

Testing and improving scaffolded DNA origami for molecular nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 19th, 2012

In two different sets of experiments a German research group has shown that scaffolded DNA origami can be used to assemble complex structures with precise sub-nanometer positional control, and that constant temperature reaction can greatly increase yields and decrease production times.

Optimal bond loads in designing molecular machines

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 11th, 2012

A study of a biological molecular machine has shown that the machine functions most effectively when it uses chemical bonds just barely strong enough to survive the power stroke of the machine.

Arbitrarily complex 3D DNA nanostructures built from DNA bricks

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 6th, 2012

A set of 32-nucleotide single strand DNA bricks was designed so that each can interact independently with four other DNA bricks so that sets of hundreds of bricks can self-assemble into arbitrarily complex 25-nm 3D shapes, each comprising 1000 8-base pair volume elements.

Nanotechnology milestone: general method for designing stable proteins

Posted by Jim Lewis on November 21st, 2012

Five proteins were designed from scratch and found to fold into stable proteins as designed, proving the ability to provide ideal, robust building blocks for artificial protein structures.

More complex circuits for synthetic biology lead toward engineered cells

Posted by Jim Lewis on November 6th, 2012

One possible pathway from current technology to advanced nanotechnology that will comprise atomically precise manufacturing implemented by atomically precise machinery is through adaptation and extension of the complex molecular machine systems evolved by biology. Synthetic biology, which engineers new biological systems and function not evolved in nature, is an intermediate stage along this path. An [...]

Shape may play an important role in nanoparticle-based therapeutics

Posted by Stephanie C on October 19th, 2012

Researchers from Johns Hopkins and Northwestern Universities developed a set of shape-tunable DNA-copolymer nanoparticles that incorporate a fixed amount of DNA yet display as much as 1,680-fold difference in transfection efficiency in rat liver studies. The study may shed new light on the importance of shape in nanoparticle-based drug delivery and gene therapy.

Biological molecular motors programmed to run DNA chasis

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 17th, 2012

Two types of biological molecular motors that run in opposite directions along a protein track can be used in different arrangements to either move a complex DNA cargo along the track or engage in a tug-of-war.

Nanoparticles deliver cargo inside mitochondria

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 9th, 2012

Optimizing the size and charge of nanoparticles engineered from polymers delivers drugs directly to mitochondria, effectively treating cells with drugs for a variety of diseases.

Assembling biomolecular nanomachines: a path to a nanofactory?

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 4th, 2012

A “cut and paste” method uses an atomic force microscope to assemble protein and DNA molecules to form arbitrarily complex patterns on a surface. Developing this approach to form enzymatic assembly lines could be a path toward a general purpose nanofactory.

Rational design of peptoids: a route to advanced nanotechnology?

Posted by Jim Lewis on September 7th, 2012

A combination of theoretical and experimental work on peptoids, synthetic analogs of proteins, points to the ability to design peptoids with desired structures and functions.

Shear-activated nanoparticles may target blood clots

Posted by Jim Lewis on August 16th, 2012

Studies in mice with otherwise fatal blood clots have shown that targeting a clot-busting drug to regions where blood flow is blocked restores circulation and increases survival with a much lower, safer dose of the drug.

Toward a method to design any needed catalyst?

Posted by Jim Lewis on August 6th, 2012

Computational insights into a fundamental organic synthesis reaction may lead to the ability to design a catalyst for any desired reaction.

Artificial evolution of enzymes to make novel semiconductors

Posted by Jim Lewis on August 3rd, 2012

The directed, artificial evolution of genes for enzymes that produce nanoparticles of silicon dioxide and titanium dioxide produced semiconductor structures not seen in nature.

Nanozyme destroys virus in human cells and in mice

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 30th, 2012

Nanotechnology combines an enzyme and a DNA molecule on the surface of gold nanoparticles to destroy hepatitis C virus in human cells and in a mouse model of disease.

New online game to design RNA molecules: advancing nanotechnology?

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 16th, 2012

A new online game allows players to design RNA molecules. The most promising designs are synthesized, and the players given real-world feedback on how well their designs worked.

Atomically precise nanoparticle provides better drug delivery

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 10th, 2012

Nanoparticles made from specific DNA and RNA strands, homogeneous in size, composition, and surface chemistry, proved superior to other nanoparticles in silencing gene expression in tumors in mouse experiments.

Nanotechnology and the rest of the universe

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 4th, 2012

A forest of long DNA strands hanging at known positions from a thin gold foil may provide a method to detect hypothetical particles of dark matter, thought to compose 26% of the universe.

An expanded genetic alphabet could lead to more easily designed proteins

Posted by Jim Lewis on June 22nd, 2012

The demonstration that the process of DNA replication is more flexible than thought should make it easier to incorporate unusual amino acids into designed proteins, which might make it easier to design novel protein machines.