Needling Molecules

Many experiments in biology rely on manipulating cells: adding a gene, protein, or other molecule, for instance, to study its effects on the cell. But getting a molecule into a cell is much like breaking into a fortress; it often relies on biological tricks such as infecting a cell with a virus or attaching a protein to another one that will sneak it through the cell’s membrane. Many of these methods are specific to certain types of cells and only work with specific molecules. A paper in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences offers a surprisingly simple and direct alternative: using nanowires as needles to poke molecules into cells.

via Technology Review: Needling Molecules.


One thought on “Needling Molecules

  1. This is EXACTLY why I think nanotech is a foolish and VERY DANGEROUS undertaking.
    The danger isn’t grey goo, green goo, nanorobots overtaking the world or any other kind of idiotic Sci-Fi scenario but plain old POLLUTION problem like with any other kind of chemical.
    Once the “poking needles” are out into the wild how do you know where they go and into what they poke through?

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