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Home > News > A Simpler Way to Spy on Rogue Molecules

July 12th, 2010

A Simpler Way to Spy on Rogue Molecules

Abstract:
Individual proteins play a key role in the development of a host of diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's. A number of new imaging techniques can reveal the behavior of single biomolecules, but these approaches are tricky and expensive. Now a new technique, developed at Harvard University, could provide a cheaper and simpler way to measure and track molecules as they move freely through a solution.

Proteins are small--around two nanometers on average--and they flit around quickly, making them difficult to track under a microscope. A popular way to observe interactions between two proteins is to tether one to a surface and wait until another molecule comes by and interacts. The problem with this approach, explains Adam Cohen, assistant professor of chemistry at Harvard University and a TR35 Award winner in 2007, is that proteins behave differently when they are attached to a surface, since they have less freedom to move.

Source:
technologyreview.com

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