by PhilipJ on 25 May 2007
Both Nature and Science have lots of interesting biophysics work this week, so I’ll highlight it all briefly. Unfortunately they all require a subscription to read the full article.
Nature contains an article on mitotic spindle orientation, where micropatterned surfaces could dictate the spindle orientation:
which could be predicted by a model which presumes that spindles are oriented by cortical forces acting on microtubules (shown in green). A second interesting paper detailed simulations of membrane-protein organisation in their host membrane, arising entirely from membrane curvature. This is interesting because “curvature-mediated attraction can operate even between proteins lacking any specific interactions, such as newly synthesized and still immature membrane proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum.”
This week’s Science features on single-molecule measurements. Included are ways to beat the diffraction limit with optical microscopy by Stefan Hell, measuring transcription factor dynamics at the single-molecule level by Sunney Xie’s lab. Kazu Kinosita, who I had the pleasure of meeting at last year’s Frontiers in Biophysics conference, has a new article on the mechanism behind Myosin V’s walk. Arguments over power strokes or brownian ratchet mechnisms of force-generation might finally cease now that Kinosita’s lab has concluded that Myosin V Walks by Lever Action and Brownian Motion. Evan Evans, who spends part of his time at the university across town from my lab discusses Forces and Bond Dynamics in Cell Adhesion, and for theorists, there is an article on in silico studies of single-molecule experiments.