Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Electronic Structure Of DNA Revealed For First Time

Date:
March 10, 2008
Source:
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Summary:
Utilizing a technique that combines low temperature measurements and theoretical calculations, scientists have revealed for the first time the electronic structure of single DNA molecules. The knowledge of the electronic properties of DNA is an important issue in many scientific areas from biochemistry to nanotechnology -- for example in the study of DNA damage by ultraviolet radiation that may cause the generation of free radicals and genetic mutations.

In work recently published in the journal Nature Materials, researchers from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem were able to decode the electronic structure of DNA and to understand how the electrons distribute into the various parts of the double helix, a result that has been pursued by scientists for many years, but was previously hindered by technical problems.
Credit: Nature Materials / Courtesy of Danny Porath, Hebrew University

Utilizing a technique that combines low temperature measurements and theoretical calculations, Hebrew University of Jerusalem scientists and others have revealed for the first time the electronic structure of single DNA molecules.

The knowledge of the electronic properties of DNA is an important issue in many scientific areas from biochemistry to nanotechnology -- for example in the study of DNA damage by ultraviolet radiation that may cause the generation of free radicals and genetic mutations. In those cases, DNA repair occurs spontaneously via an electronic charge transfer along the DNA helix that restores the damaged molecular bonds.

In nano-bioelectronics, which is the advanced research field devoted to the study of biological molecules (to produce electrical nanocircuits, for example), it has been suggested that DNA, or its derivatives, may become used as possible conducting molecular wires in the realization of molecular computing networks which are smaller and more efficient than those produced today with silicon technology.

The knowledge that has been acquired in this project, say the researchers, may also be relevant for current attempts to develop new sophisticated, reliable, faster and cheaper ways to decode the sequence of human DNA.

In their work, the researchers were able to decode the electronic structure of DNA and to understand how the electrons distribute into the various parts of the double helix, a result that has been pursued by scientists for many years, but was previously hindered by technical problems.

Experimental and theoretical scientists worked with long and homogeneous DNA molecules at minus 195 degrees Celsius, using a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) to measure the current that passes across a molecule deposited on a gold substrate.

Then, by means of theoretical calculations based on the solution of quantum equations, the electronic structure of DNA corresponding to the measured current has been obtained. These results also suggest an identification of the parts of the double helix that contribute to the charge flow along the molecule.

The research, published in the journal Nature Materials, is a result of an international collaboration. The research was conducted by Errez Shapir and coordinated by Dr. Danny Porath at the Department of Physical Chemistry and Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at the Hebrew University and by Dr. Rosa Di Felice at the S3 Center of INFM-CNR in Modena, Italy. Also collaborating in the project were Prof. Alexander Kotlyar at Tel Aviv University, who synthesized the molecules, the CINECA supercomputing center in Italy, and Prof. Gianaurelio Cuniberti at the University of Regensburg, Germany.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Hebrew University of Jerusalem. "Electronic Structure Of DNA Revealed For First Time." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080228100712.htm>.
Hebrew University of Jerusalem. (2008, March 10). Electronic Structure Of DNA Revealed For First Time. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080228100712.htm
Hebrew University of Jerusalem. "Electronic Structure Of DNA Revealed For First Time." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080228100712.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) Japan's bullet train turns 50 Wednesday. Here's a look at how it's changed over half a century — and the changes it's inspired globally. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) Police body cameras are gradually being rolled out across the US, with interest surging after the fatal police shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) A ceremony marking 50 years since Japan launched its Shinkansen bullet train was held on Wednesday in Tokyo. The latest model can travel from Tokyo to Osaka, a distance of 319 miles, in two hours and 25 minutes. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins