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Some bacteria use a nanosized speargun to get rid of competitors

bacterial speargun

In order to get rid of unpleasant competitors, some bacteria use a sophisticated weapon — a nanosized speargun. Researchers at the University of Basel’s Biozentrum have now gained new insights into the construction, mode of action and recycling of this weapon. As they report in the journal Nature Microbiology, the speargun …

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Companies have promised a future of renewable fuel from algae

Algae

For over a decade, companies have promised a future of renewable fuel from algae. Investors interested in moving the world away from fossil fuel have contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to the effort, and with good reason. Algae replicate quickly, requiring little more than water and sunlight to accumulate …

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Biological particles are ideal for arrangement of nanoparticles

Nanocomposite

It has always been the Holy Grail of materials science to describe and control the material’s structure-function relationship. Nanoparticles are an attractive class of components to be used in functional materials because they exhibit size-dependent properties, such as superparamagnetism and plasmonic absorption of light. Furthermore, controlling the arrangement of nanoparticles …

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Method to decipher the spatial organization of biological structures

Protein structure

Researchers are constantly expanding their arsenal of methods to decipher the spatial organization of biological structures. Using microscopes, they can now visualize individual macromolecular components within DNA, protein, or other complexes. However, this resolution typically requires sophisticated equipment applied to specially-processed samples, and it is difficult to simultaneously watch many …

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Nano-sized carrier systems find medical application

Comparison of nanomaterials_sizes

Nano-sized carrier systems find medical application to improve pharmacologic properties of bioactive agents. For many therapeutic approaches, it is important that the carrier system can stably incorporate the cargo during circulation without inducing aggregation, while cargo should ideally only be released after successful cellular uptake. These requirements have thus far …

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