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June 4th, 2005
New Ways To Measure Up
Paul Alivisatos and colleagues at the University of California in Berkeley are developing a way to measure the distance between molecules across arrays of proteins. They bind tiny gold particles to molecules. Then, by watching how these particles scatter light, the researchers estimate their separation distance. The changing color of scattered light reveals changing separation. This, in effect, is a "ruler" for measuring distances on a molecular scale.
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