Researchers Engineer Nano-scale Cargo System From DNA and Proteins
Over the weekend, Nature Nanotechnology released a paper that describes tiny biological machinery engineered to construct a transit system and then bring cargo to its hub. Its components? DNA and proteins.
To a certain extent, the British team behind the work wasn’t engineering a system so much as re-engineering what life has evolved already. Cells have a transit system that uses structures called microtubules. These tiny fibers, 25 nanometers in diameter, are made of repeating units of two proteins (alpha and beta tubulin, naturally). There are also specialized motor proteins that bind to them and drag cargo along the fiber. This cellular transit system does everything from getting packages of proteins to the right place in the cell to ensuring that the chromosomes are split up evenly when a cell divides.
(via With DNA and proteins, researchers build transit for lugging molecular cargo | Ars Technica)