Molecular-scale breaking due to repeated loading in molecular shuttles
Location of research: Hybrid (both Remote and On Site)
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We have in the past year successfully demonstrated that interference reflection microscopy can image microtubules without relying on fluorescence labeling (see G. Saper and H. Hess*: “Kinesin-propelled label-free microtubules imaged with interference reflection microscopy”, New Journal of Physics, 22, 095002, 2020). This advance enables us to exclude a degradation pathway: degradation resulting from exposure to the intense fluorescence excitation light. In previous experiments, we aimed to control for this degradation pathway. Now a student can conduct and analyze experiments where this degradation pathway is entirely absent. Secondly, we found that the use of unlabeled tubulins results in longer, faster gliding microtubules. Thus, a student can explore the hypothesis that these microtubules have fewer defects and degrade slower, providing an interesting test case for the insights obtained from the study of fluorescently labeled microtubules.
Name of lab: Nanobiotechnology and Synthetic Biology