- About Us
- Career Center
- Nano-Social Network
- Nano Consulting
- My Account
The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded a prestigious EUR 2.5 million Advanced Grant to the Institute of Nanoscience at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands (TU Delft) for its work in bio-nano research.
The ERC, funded under the 'Ideas' Theme of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), is the first EU funding body set up to support challenging new research and advance excellence in creative scientific thinking. It also seeks to encourage scientists to identify new opportunities and challenges rather than having their research led by governments and policy makers.
Nanotechnology is one of these frontier areas of research, and the recipient of the ERC Advanced Grant, Professor Cees Dekker from the Institute of Nanoscience at TU Delft, said, 'We want to use the power of nanofabrication [...] to find out more about big biological questions such as the precise working of processes within cells.'
In the first part of his research project, Professor Dekker and his team will study the evolution and adaptation of bacteria. 'Nanofabrication techniques allow us to build precisely defined landscapes on a chip, in order to study the adaptation and evolution of bacteria,' he explained.
'We are actually creating a kind of miniature Galapagos Islands for bacteria. Some of them will cross over to a different island; others won't. By varying the environmental factors and properties of the bacteria, we can gain more insight into how bacteria adapt. We can directly observe evolution in space and time.'
The bacteria in the study move through narrow channels where they are completely flattened before emerging in different shapes. The research being carried out by Professor Dekker and his team suggests that that there may be far more bacteria present in narrow spaces than previously thought. This may have critical consequences for products such as medical equipment.
In the second part of the research, the team will use electron bundles to make nanometre-wide holes. DNA molecules will be able to move through these holes while being tracked and screened. The aim is to read their genetic codes and observe which genes are either switched 'on' or 'off'.
In the final part of the research, the team will attempt to 'mimic' the construction of biological pores by focusing on the microscopic holes in the membrane of the cell nucleus. 'In those holes there are certain proteins which function as a kind of gatekeeper to the cell nucleus,' said Professor Dekker. 'They determine which molecules are allowed out or in. But exactly how they do that is still a mystery. By mimicking these holes with nanofabrication and coating them with these gatekeeper proteins, we hope to discover more about this important mechanism.'
For Professor Dekker, a particularly interesting element of the research is the element of chance. 'Some bacteria aim for cooperation while others are 'cheaters' which benefit from the work of their fellows,' he explained. 'We can manage those properties too, and study them under controlled circumstances.'
For more information, please visit:
Delft University of Technology (TU Delft): www.tudelft.nl/
European Research Council (ERC): erc.europa.eu/
CORDIS, the Community Research and Development Information Service, is a free service provided by the Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.
It is dedicated to promoting participation in the EU research programmes and to facilitating the uptake of European research results by industry. The service contributes to achieve the strategic goal of the European Union to become the most competitive knowledge based economy in the world by 2010.
For more information, please click here
Copyright © CORDISIf you have a comment, please Contact us.
Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
|Related News Press|
News and information
Printing Silicon on Paper, with Lasers April 21st, 2015
A glass fiber that brings light to a standstill: By coupling photons to atoms, light in a glass fiber can be slowed down to the speed of an express train; for a short while it can even be brought to a complete stop April 9th, 2015
Defects in atomically thin semiconductor emit single photons: Researchers create optically active quantum dots in 2-D semiconductor for the first time; may have applications for integrated photonics May 4th, 2015
New Nanodrug Produced in Iran from Milk Thistle May 4th, 2015
New class of 3D-printed aerogels improve energy storage April 22nd, 2015
Time Dependant Spectroscopy of Microscopic Samples: CRAIC TimePro™ software is used with CRAIC Technologies microspectrometers to measure the kinetic UV-visible-NIR, Raman and fluorescence spectra of microscopic sample areas May 2nd, 2015
Two-dimensional semiconductor comes clean April 27th, 2015
Weighing -- and imaging -- molecules one at a time April 28th, 2015