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Researchers show how the chemotaxis network of signaling proteins in E.coli is able to spontaneously form from clusters of proteins

"Self-assembling and self-organizing systems are the Holy Grails of nanotechnology, but nature has been producing such systems for millions of years. A team of scientists has taken a unique look at how thousands of bacterial membrane proteins are able to assemble into clusters that direct cell movement to select chemicals in their environment. Their results provide valuable insight into how complex periodic patterns in biological systems can be generated and repaired."

"Researchers with Berkeley Lab, the University of California (UC) Berkeley, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Princeton University, used an ultrahigh-precision visible light microscopy technique called PALM - for Photo-Activated Localization Microscopy - to show that the chemotaxis network of signaling proteins in E.coli bacteria is able to spontaneously form from clusters of proteins without being actively distributed or attached to specific locations in cells. This simple organizational mechanism - dubbed “stochastic self-assembly” - is related to the self-organizing patterns first described in 1952 by the British computer scientist Alan Turing."

- Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory press release
 
 

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