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Ultra High Resolution Fleezers

5/10/2011

CPLC researchers have combined two single-molecule measurement technologies to create an instrument with incredible sensitivity that provides new, detailed insight into dynamic molecular processes.  Professors Taekjip Ha and Yann Chemla along with CPLC postdoctoral fellow Matthew Comstock combined their expertise in single-molecule biophysics – fluorescence microscopy and optical traps – to study binding and unbinding of individual DNA segments to a larger strand (Nature Methods 8, 335–340 (2011)).  The combination also allows for the measurement both of a protein’s motion – sensitive to translocation as small as one DNA base pair, a distance of only a few angstroms – and also conformational changes as it acts.  This can reveal details about its mechanism that would not have been accessible before.  “It was a major technical challenge, but the final product is a one-of-a-kind instrument with unique capabilities,” Chemla said. “It's like taking a rudimentary, real-time ‘movie’ of what individual molecules are doing.”

 

For Full Story, go to: http://news.illinois.edu/news/11/0302DNA_TKHa_YannChemla.html

For Article, go to:  http://www.nature.com/nmeth/journal/v8/n4/full/nmeth.1574.html

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