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November 25th, 2010
A simple peptide that assembles into desirable nanoscale structures is a striking example of how the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. What's more, the assembly process is controllably reversible.
Could a simple, short peptide made of naturally occurring amino acids form structures that have the optical and electronic properties of semiconductor nanocrystals? Reporting in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Gazit, Rosenman and colleagues1 describe a peptide formed from just two phenylalanine amino acids that does exactly that.
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