Molecular biophysics

Molecular biophysics is the study of the physical principles governing biomolecular systems. It seeks to explain biological function in terms of molecular structure, dynamics and organization, from single molecules to supramolecular structures.

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  • News and Views |

    Is a nanoscale hydrophobic bowl wet or dry when dissolved in water? It turns out that the answer depends on the architecture of its rim. A molecular host decorated with four methyl groups around its rim pointing inward, rather than up, has now been shown to expel water from the bowl, making it dry and sticky.

    • Shekhar Garde
    Nature Chemistry 12, 587-588
  • News and Views |

    Two independent studies describe the discovery of structurally pure cubic ice Ic made from either ice XVII or a high-pressure hydrogen hydrate.

    • Christoph G. Salzmann
    •  & Benjamin J. Murray
    Nature Materials 19, 586-587
  • News and Views |

    Equilibrium self-assembly processes find free-energy minima but no such general statement holds for systems driven out of equilibrium. A new study has employed laser-induced convective flows to achieve dissipative self-assembly across multiple scales with universal growth and fluctuation statistics.

    • Gili Bisker
    Nature Physics 16, 707-708
  • News and Views |

    Synchronization of biochemical oscillators that are responsible for biological rhythms costs free energy. This theoretical result suggests that part of the adenosine triphosphate molecules consumed by a Kai oscillator is necessary for synchronization.

    • Andre C. Barato
  • News and Views |

    A new cryo-EM structure of the bacterial flagellar hook, which connects the motor to the flagellar filament, reveals 11 distinctive conformations of the subunit. The cooperative dynamic switching among these states offers a dramatic extension of two-state models of protein allostery.

    • Edward H. Egelman