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thane, into more complex organic molecules. The importance of the finding lies in the need to employ in the near future methane as a raw material in the chemical industry.
The reaction involves a silver catalyst specifically designed to activate the C-H methane bonds, a pro- cess that had already proved effective with heavier hydrocarbons. The challenge of attaining effective contact between the catalyst and the reagents nee- ded for the transformation and methane was achie- ved by using carbon dioxide in supercritical state as the reaction medium.
Ana Caballero, Emmanuelle Despagnet-Ayoub, M. Mar Díaz-Requejo, Alba Díaz-Rodríguez, María Elena Gonzá- lez-Núñez, Rossella Mello, Bianca K. Muñoz, Wilfried- Solo Ojo, Gregorio Asensio, Michel Etienne, Pedro J. Pérez: Silver-Catalyzed C-C Bond Formation Between Methane and Ethyl Diazoacetate in Supercritical CO2, In: Science, Vol. 332, No. 6031, May 13, 2011, Pages 835-838, DOI:10.1126/science.1204131: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1204131
11-06/07 :: June/July 2011
of the cell nucleus. They transport proteins and RNA in and out of the nucleus in a highly selective manner, which means that some go through but others are blocked from passing. There is much debate on how this intriguing selectivity is achie- ved. Given the fact that it is very difficult to per- form high-resolution measurements in the complex environment of the living cell, the exact mechanism is hard to resolve.” Professor Cees Dekker, director of the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at Delft and leader of this research, explains.
In the new research by Dekker’s group in collabo- ration with the group of Dr. Roderick Lim of the University of Basel, they were able to make a bio- mimetic nanopore – a synthetic pore that imitates the nuclear pore – which acts as a new, powerful platform to monitor transport of individual proteins across.
Stefan W. Kowalczyk, Larisa Kapinos, Timothy R. Blos- ser, Tomás Magalhães, Pauline van Nies, Roderick Y. H. Lim, and Cees Dekker: Single-molecule transport across an individual biomimetic nuclear pore complex, In: Nature Nanotechnology AOP, June 19, 2011, DOI:10.1038/nnano.2011.88: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2011.88
Researchers at Delft University of Technology and the University of Basel have established a biomi- metic nanopore that provides a unique test and measurement platform for the way that proteins move into a cell’s nucleus.
“Human cells have a nucleus, and proteins and RNA need to get in and out. This is regulated by small holes, called nuclear pore complexes. These are essential biological pores that act as gatekeepers
NPL in U.K. is working with University College London on a project which investigates the dyna- mics of microbubbles, to see if they can be used as highly sensitive sensors in medical and industrial applications.