Engineering

Using AI to predict new materials with desired properties

Scientists in Japan have developed a machine learning approach that can predict the elements and manufacturing processes needed to obtain an aluminum alloy with specific, desired mechanical properties. The approach, published ...

Electronics & Semiconductors

Environment-friendly compound shows promise for solar cell use

A widespread transition to solar energy will depend heavily on reliable, safe, and affordable technology like batteries for energy storage and solar cells for energy conversion. At Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, researchers ...

Engineering

Engineers 3-D print flexible mesh for ankle and knee braces

Hearing aids, dental crowns, and limb prosthetics are some of the medical devices that can now be digitally designed and customized for individual patients, thanks to 3-D printing. However, these devices are typically designed ...

Engineering

Automating materials design

For decades, materials scientists have taken inspiration from the natural world. They'll identify a biological material that has some desirable trait—such as the toughness of bones or conch shells—and reverse-engineer ...

Engineering

Novel 3-D printing technique yields high-performance composites

Nature has produced exquisite composite materials—wood, bone, teeth, and shells, for example—that combine light weight and density with desirable mechanical properties such as stiffness, strength and damage tolerance.

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DNA structure

DNA structure shows a variety of forms, both double-stranded and single-stranded. The mechanical properties of DNA, which are directly related to its structure, are a significant problem for cells. Every process which binds or reads DNA is able to use or modify the mechanical properties of DNA for purposes of recognition, packaging and modification. The extreme length (a chromosome may contain a 10 cm long DNA strand), relative rigidity and helical structure of DNA has led to the evolution of histones and of enzymes such as topoisomerases and helicases to manage a cell's DNA. The properties of DNA are closely related to its molecular structure and sequence, particularly the weakness of the hydrogen bonds and electronic interactions that hold strands of DNA together compared to the strength of the bonds within each strand.

Experimental techniques which can directly measure the mechanical properties of DNA are relatively new, and high-resolution visualization in solution is often difficult. Nevertheless, scientists have uncovered large amount of data on the mechanical properties of this polymer, and the implications of DNA's mechanical properties on cellular processes is a topic of active current research.

It is important to note the DNA found in many cells can be macroscopic in length - a few centimetres long for each human chromosome. Consequently, cells must compact or "package" DNA to carry it within them. In eukaryotes this is carried by spool-like proteins known as histones, around which DNA winds. It is the further compaction of this DNA-protein complex which produces the well known mitotic eukaryotic chromosomes.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA