New analyses suggest strategies by which biological sensors may be able to measure changes in concentrations of chemical signaling molecules more accurately, but does this reflect what actually happens in nature?
Faster does not mean more precise—a new view of how proteins diffuse and bind to a specific site on the DNA reassesses the role noise plays in the biochemical production line that creates biomolecules from genes.
Genome replication originates at random places along the DNA strand, yet replication of the genetic material finishes within a defined time. A model based on phase-transition kinetics in condensed-matter systems explains how this just-in-time replication can happen.
Physics1, 30 (2008) – Published October 20, 2008
Some of the most ingenious ideas for designing microfluidic systems come from observing plants and animals. A study that quantifies the protein-driven helical flow of liquid in large plant cells, for instance, may well inspire micron-scale liquid mixers and sensors.
Current technology permits tracking single molecules with exquisite precision, but the results need to be interpreted with care. Long-duration measurement of the motion of a single particle yields information that is different and complementary to that obtained from an ensemble average of many particles.