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 & Views |

    End-binding proteins attach to the dynamic plus-ends of microtubules in order to regulate microtubule polymerization and the transport of other plus-end tracking proteins (+TIPs). Three new studies dissect the multivalent interactions that constitute distinct +TIP networks and reveal that they give rise to liquid-like biomolecular condensates.

    • Bernardo Gouveia
    •  & Sabine Petry
  • News & Views |

    Multiplexing real-time single virus tracking with imaging paves the way for detailed information on virus–host interactions, offering a potential paradigm shift.

    • Sergi Padilla-Parra
    Nature Methods 19, 1524-1525
  • News & Views |

    In vivo, forces applied to molecular interactions between T cells and antigen-presenting cells are essential for specific foreign antigen recognition. A new technology, BATTLES, applies force to thousands of T cells interacting with tens of candidate antigens to identify antigens capable of efficient T cell activation. The method improves throughput over current methods that profile force-dependent interactions.

    Nature Methods 19, 1189-1190
  • Research Highlights |

    How did the leopard get its spots? According to Rudyard Kipling’s 1902 children’s story, the leopard’s spots were created by fingerprints of an Ethiopian man. Fifty years later, Alan Turing laid the mathematical foundations of our understanding of leopard spots today.

    • Ankita Anirban
  • News & Views |

    Cryo-EM analysis reveals the mechanism by which chromatin is compacted at the centromere by the H3 histone variant CENP-N. Intriguingly, despite the structural differences between CENP-N and linker H1 histones, both appear to similarly compact higher-order nucleosome structures.

    • Katrina V. Good
    •  & Juan Ausió