News Column

Study Results from University of Cambridge Broaden Understanding of Nanotechnology

February 11, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Life Science Weekly -- Investigators publish new report on Nanotechnology. According to news reporting from Cambridge, United Kingdom, by NewsRx journalists, research stated, "The self-assembly of normally soluble proteins into fibrillar amyloid structures is associated with a range of neuro-degenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. In the present study, we show that specific events in the kinetics of the complex, multistep aggregation process of one such protein, alpha-synuclein, whose aggregation is a characteristic hallmark of Parkinson's disease, can be followed at the molecular level using optical super-resolution microscopy."

The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from the University of Cambridge, "We have explored in particular the elongation of preformed alpha-synuclein fibrils; using two-color single-molecule localization microscopy we are able to provide conclusive evidence that the elongation proceeds from both ends of the fibril seeds. Furthermore, the technique reveals a large heterogeneity in the growth rates of individual fibrils; some fibrils exhibit no detectable growth, whereas others extend to more than ten times their original length within hours. These large variations in the growth kinetics can be attributed to fibril structural polymorphism."

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "Our technique offers new capabilities in the study of amyloid growth dynamics at. the molecular level and is readily translated to the study of the self-assembly of other nanostructures."

For more information on this research see: Direct Observation of Heterogeneous Amyloid Fibril Growth Kinetics via Two-Color Super-Resolution Microscopy. Nano Letters, 2014;14(1):339-345. Nano Letters can be contacted at: Amer Chemical Soc, 1155 16TH St, NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA. (American Chemical Society -; Nano Letters -

Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting D. Pinotsi, University of Cambridge, Dept. of Chem, Cambridge CB2 1EW, United Kingdom. Additional authors for this research include A.K. Buell, C. Galvagnion, C.M. Dobson, G.S.K. Schierle and C.F. Kaminski (see also Nanotechnology).

Keywords for this news article include: Europe, Cambridge, United Kingdom, Nanotechnology

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Source: Life Science Weekly

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