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Showing results 21-26 of 26 for 'Nanoscience'

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    LEGO Proteins Revealed

    The proteins in our bodies are social molecules. But now and again, new ties between proteins can get you into trouble. For example, when hemoglobin – the protein complex that carries oxygen in our blood – undergoes just one mutation, the complexes stick to one another, stacking like Lego blocks to form long, stiff filaments. These filaments, in turn, elongate the red blood cells found in sickle-cell disease. For over 50 years, this has been the only known textbook example in which a mutation causes these filaments to form. According to Dr. Emmanuel Levy and his group in the Weizmann Institute of Science’s Structural Biology Department, Lego-like assemblies should have formed relatively frequently during evolution, and so they asked: How easy is it to get proteins to stack into filaments? Their answer, which was recently published in Nature, may have implications for both biological research and nanoscience.

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    Silk Micro-Cocoons Will Transport Proteins in Food, Drugs

    Scientists from Israel and abroad have designed microscopic silk capsules that can serve as a protective environment for the transport of fragile protein “cargo” for cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical applications — particularly the delivery of drugs within the body. The collaborative research, performed by an international team of academics from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel; the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Sheffield in the UK; and the ETH in Switzerland, was reported in Nature Communications on July 19.

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    Cells Talk and Help One Another via Tiny Tube Networks

    When the physician and scientist Emil Lou was an oncology fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center about a decade ago, he was regularly troubled by the sight of something small but unidentifiable in his cancer-cell cultures. Looking through the microscope, he said, he “kept finding these long, thin translucent lines,” about 50 nanometers wide and 150 to 200 microns long, extending between cells in the culture. He called on the world-class cell biologists in his building to explain these observations, but nobody was sure what they were looking at. Finally, after delving into the literature, Lou realized that the lines matched what Hans-Hermann Gerdes’ group at the University of Heidelberg had described as “nanotubular highways” or “tunneling nanotubes” (TNTs) in a 2004 paper in Science.

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    Israeli Researchers Reveal Complex Structure of Scorpion Pincers

    China’s Xinhua news agency reports that Weizmann “researchers have revealed the multilayered structure of the exoskeleton that covers the scorpions' pincers, which can lead to the creation of new synthetic materials.” Having existed for more than 400 million years, scorpions have evolved very sophisticated, multipurpose pincers.