Tracking Changes in Individual Molecules

Posted on February 27, 2007  Comments (0)

Watching a Biological Jigsaw Puzzle Come Together

Scientists have recorded the action involved in assembling telomerase, an enzyme used by cells to protect their genes during the potentially dangerous process of DNA replication. Using a sophisticated technique for tracking structural changes in individual molecules in real time, they have revealed how three of the protein and RNA components of the enzyme come together, altering their shapes along the way to ensure that the next piece will fit.

In these more complicated systems, it’s much harder to guess what is going on in the assembly process. But by directly watching things as they happen, this sort of powerful approach will give a lot of new insights.

Very cool stuff. It just keeps coming doesn’t it?

Related: RNA interference webcastmessenger-RNA

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