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April 25th, 2009
Progress in bionanotechnology is essential for our understanding of cells and for the development of new therapeutics, which nowadays increasingly function at the molecular level. This was one of the statements made by Prof. Nynke Dekker during her inaugural address at TU Delft, the Netherlands earlier this month.
The biological world contains a great many components and is, therefore, not straightforward to understand. However, research is accelerating as a result of the confluence of various disciplines. Collaboration between biologists, physicists and engineers has been particularly productive recently. These days, physical technologies enable us not only to perceive a single biological molecule (such as DNA) in a cell, but also to film, as it were, the interaction of this molecule with proteins.
As Prof. Nynke Dekker puts it: "With the development of biology in the direction of the molecular scale, cell biology is taking on an increasingly ‘engineering' character: the biologist's approach is rapidly changing into that of the engineer."
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