skip to main content

Title: Breaking the Nanometer Barrier: Progress in Biological Nanoscience, Measured One Molecule at a Time (How a Biophysicist Watches DNA Transcription)

A new field of scientific exploration - single molecule biophysics - is currently reshaping and redefining our understanding of the mechanochemistry of life. The development of laser-based optical traps, or 'optical tweezers,' has allowed for physiological assessments of such precision that bio-molecules can now be measured and studied one at a time. In this colloquium, Professor Block will present findings based on his group's construction of optical trapping instrumentation that has broken the nanometer barrier, allowing researchers to study single-molecule displacements on the Angstrom level. Focusing on RNA polymerase, the motor enzyme responsible for transcribing the genetic code contained in DNA, Block's group has been able to measure, in real time, the motion of a single molecule of RNA polymerase as it moves from base to base along the DNA template.
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1014168
DOE Contract Number:
AC02-76SF00515
Resource Type:
Multimedia
Resource Relation:
Conference: SLAC Colloquium Series, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Menlo Park, California, presented on March 20, 2006
Research Org:
SLAC (SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC), Menlo Park, CA (United States))
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
43 PARTICLE ACCELERATORS; ACCURACY; BIOPHYSICS; CONSTRUCTION; DNA; ENZYMES; EXPLORATION; FERMILAB ACCELERATOR; FOCUSING; GENETICS; MOTORS; RNA POLYMERASES; STANFORD LINEAR ACCELERATOR CENTER; TRANSCRIPTION; TRAPPING