Archive for the ‘nanotechnology’ category

May 17, 2024

Study reveals how a sugar-sensing protein acts as a ‘machine’ to switch plant growth—and oil production—on and off

Posted by in category: nanotechnology

Proteins are molecular machines, with flexible pieces and moving parts. Understanding how these parts move helps scientists unravel the function a protein plays in living things—and potentially how to change its effects. Biochemists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and colleagues at DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have published a new example of how one such molecular machine works.

May 17, 2024

DNA origami guides precise nanoparticle patterning for tunable metasurfaces

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

Researchers develop a precise method for patterning gold nanoparticles on surfaces using DNA origami and electron beam lithography, enabling tunable plasmonic metasurfaces.

May 17, 2024

Bottom-up Nanotechnology Explained

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

Discover bottom-up nanotechnology: precision construction of nanostructures for breakthroughs in medicine, electronics, and beyond.

May 16, 2024

Bifunctional CoFeP-N nanowires synthesized for sustainable water splitting

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, sustainability

Prof. Wang Qi’s research group from the Hefei Institutes of Physical Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has synthesized iron-and nitrogen-co-doped CoFeP-N nanowires for high-efficiency electrocatalytic water splitting.

May 15, 2024

Multi-scale, nanomaterial-based ice inhibition platform enables full-cycle cryogenic protection for mouse oocytes

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, nanotechnology

Safe and high-quality fertility preservation is of growing significance for women in clinical trials. Current primary methods for cryopreserving human oocytes are slow freezing and vitrification, but existing techniques pose risks of biochemical toxicity and are restricted in large-scale clinical practice.

May 15, 2024

Uneven strain distribution induces detwinning in penta-twinned nanoparticles

Posted by in category: nanotechnology

Twinned nanoparticles have regions of clear symmetry that share the same crystal lattice, separated by a clear boundary. Changing the twin structure can affect the properties of the nanoparticles, which makes controlling twinning to create tailored nanomaterials an active area of research.

May 14, 2024

Bionanomachine Breakthrough: A Master Key for Sustainable Chemistry

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, nanotechnology

Scientists at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) have for the first time precisely characterized the enzyme styrene oxide isomerase, which can be used to produce valuable chemicals and drug precursors in an environmentally friendly manner. The study appears today in the journal Nature Chemistry.

Enzymes are powerful biomolecules that can be used to produce many substances at ambient conditions. They enable “green” chemistry, which reduces environmental pollution resulting from processes used in synthetic chemistry. One such tool from nature has now been characterized in detail by PSI researchers: the enzyme styrene oxide isomerase. It is the biological version of the Meinwald reaction, an important chemical reaction in organic chemistry.

“The enzyme, discovered decades ago, is made by bacteria,” says Richard Kammerer of PSI’s Biomolecular Research Laboratory. His colleague Xiaodan Li adds: “But because the way it functions was not known, its practical application has been limited up to now.” The two researchers and their team have elucidated the structure of the enzyme as well as the way it works.

May 13, 2024

Nanotechnology as a Shield against COVID-19: Current Advancement and Limitations

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, health, nanotechnology

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a global health problem that the WHO declared a pandemic. COVID-19 has resulted in a worldwide lockdown and threatened to topple the global economy. The mortality of COVID-19 is comparatively low compared with previous SARS outbreaks, but the rate of spread of the disease and its morbidity is alarming. This virus can be transmitted human-to-human through droplets and close contact, and people of all ages are susceptible to this virus. With the advancements in nanotechnology, their remarkable properties, including their ability to amplify signal, can be used for the development of nanobiosensors and nanoimaging techniques that can be used for early-stage detection along with other diagnostic tools.

May 13, 2024

Cancer-fighting nanorobots seek and destroy tumors

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, nanotechnology, robotics/AI

Editor’s note: This story is being highlighted in ASU Now’s year in review. Read more top stories from 2018 here.

In a major advancement in nanomedicine, Arizona State University scientists, in collaboration with researchers from the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology (NCNST) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, have successfully programmed nanorobots to shrink tumors by cutting off their blood supply.

“We have developed the first fully autonomous, DNA robotic system for a very precise drug design and targeted cancer therapy,” said Hao Yan, director of the ASU Biodesign Institute’s Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics and the Milton Glick Professor in the School of Molecular Sciences.

May 13, 2024

Recently recycled synaptic vesicles use multi-cytoskeletal transport and differential presynaptic capture probability to establish a retrograde net flux during ISVE in central neurons

Posted by in categories: computing, nanotechnology, neuroscience, sustainability

Presynapses locally recycle synaptic vesicles to efficiently communicate information. During use and recycling, proteins on the surface of synaptic vesicles break down and become less efficient. In order to maintain efficient presynaptic function and accommodate protein breakdown, new proteins are regularly produced in the soma and trafficked to presynaptic locations where they replace older protein-carrying vesicles. Maintaining a balance of new proteins and older proteins is thus essential for presynaptic maintenance and plasticity. While protein production and turnover have been extensively studied, it is still unclear how older synaptic vesicles are trafficked back to the soma for recycling in order to maintain balance. In the present study, we use a combination of fluorescence microscopy, hippocampal cell cultures, and computational analyses to determine the mechanisms that mediate older synaptic vesicle trafficking back to the soma. We show that synaptic vesicles, which have recently undergone exocytosis, can differentially utilize either the microtubule or the actin cytoskeleton networks. We show that axonally trafficked vesicles traveling with higher speeds utilize the microtubule network and are less likely to be captured by presynapses, while slower vesicles utilize the actin network and are more likely to be captured by presynapses. We also show that retrograde-driven vesicles are less likely to be captured by a neighboring presynapse than anterograde-driven vesicles. We show that the loss of synaptic vesicle with bound molecular motor myosin V is the mechanism that differentiates whether vesicles will utilize the microtubule or actin networks. Finally, we present a theoretical framework of how our experimentally observed retrograde vesicle trafficking bias maintains the balance with previously observed rates of new vesicle trafficking from the soma.

Cytoskeleton-based trafficking mechanics have long been explored because of their essential role in neuronal function and maintenance (Westrum et al., 1983; Okada et al., 1995; Sorra et al., 2006; Perlson and Holzbaur, 2007; Tao-Cheng, 2007; Hirokawa et al., 2009; Staras and Branco, 2010; Tang et al., 2013; Wu et al., 2013; Maeder et al., 2014; Guedes-Dias et al., 2019; Gramlich et al., 2021; Watson et al., 2023). Protein trafficking via cytoskeleton transport is essential for synaptogenesis (Perlson and Holzbaur, 2007; Santos et al., 2009; Klassen et al., 2010; Wu et al., 2013; Guedes-Dias et al., 2019; Guedes-Dias and Holzbaur, 2019; Kurshan and Shen, 2019; Watson et al., 2023) and to replace older proteins with newer proteins for efficient function (Cohen et al., 2013; Dörrbaum et al., 2018, 2020; Heo et al., 2018; Truckenbrodt et al., 2018; Jähne et al., 2021; Watson et al., 2023).

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