Spices Of Life From Your Kitchen Shelf

Friday, February 1, 2013

Synthetic ‘living crystals’ might offer insights into origin of life

Scientists at  New York University have created a type of synthetic particles that can bind and assemble into clusters, similar to how flocks of birds or schools of fish organize themselves in complicated patterns. Self-assembling materials are far from being new, but what distinguishes this new research is that the particles eventually organize themselves in what the authors call “living crystals”.
Self-assembly is what allows DNA to bond and form nanotubes or proteins to gather and form a helical virus coat. In a sense, too, self-assembly is what makes birds or fish jointogether in various patterns and form flocks or schools respectively.Read on...