Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New insights into membrane-assisted self-assembly

Date:
October 24, 2012
Source:
University of Vienna
Summary:
How proteins and virus capsids – complex protein structures that encase the genetic material of viruses – form structures near to a fluctuating membrane is simulated by physicists with advanced computational techniques. The results are relevant to the understanding of biophysical processes.

This shows the self-assembly process.
Credit: Physical Review Letters/Richard James Matthews

How proteins and virus capsids -- complex protein structures that encase the genetic material of viruses -- form structures near to a fluctuating membrane is simulated by physicist Richard Matthews with advanced computational techniques.

Related Articles


Matthews performs research as a Lise-Meitner-Fellow in the Computational Physics Group of the University of Vienna under the direction of Christos Likos, professor for Multiscale Computational Physics. The results are relevant to the understanding of biophysical processes and appear in the current issue of Physical Review Letters.

"In our current paper we present new computational results that explore how membranes may influence crucial biological processes," explains Richard Matthews, Lise-Meitner-Fellow at the University of Vienna and first author of the study. The focus of the investigation is the self-assembly of microscopic particles, the formation of structures or patterns without human intervention. More specifically, the effect of the interactions between membranes and proteins, which can influence the formation of ordered structures in cells, is considered.

Self-assembly has become a hot topic in recent years. Many of the most astonishing examples are found in nature, from tiny motors (e.g. the flagellum motor) to virus capsids with perfect spherical forms. Many researchers have also tried to improve our understanding by representing the assembly of such structures with models. In order to gain clear insight it is preferable that these models are as simple as possible. This approach has been very successful in reproducing key features of experiments, whilst also uncovering new aspects. In reality, these processes do not occur in isolation and, in fact, many happen on, or in the vicinity of, membranes, a fact that has been previously neglected in the construction of simple models.

Advanced Simulation Techniques

The research aims to find out the general properties of these fascinating systems by applying state of the art simulation techniques. This requires everything to be calculated on a computer. Due to the complexity of the task, high performance computers are necessary. "In our work we have applied advanced simulation techniques, which allowed us to see how interactions with a membrane influence self-assembly," explains Richard Matthews. "We determined that membranes promote self-assembly and also find that our model reproduces structures that are very similar to those seen in nature."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Richard Matthews, Christos Likos. Influence of Fluctuating Membranes on Self-Assembly of Patchy Colloids. Physical Review Letters, 2012; 109 (17) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.109.178302

Cite This Page:

University of Vienna. "New insights into membrane-assisted self-assembly." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121024101756.htm>.
University of Vienna. (2012, October 24). New insights into membrane-assisted self-assembly. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121024101756.htm
University of Vienna. "New insights into membrane-assisted self-assembly." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121024101756.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) — Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) — What to buy an experienced photographer or video shooter? There is some strong gear on the market from Nikon and GoPro. The AP's Ron Harris takes a closer look. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) — The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
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