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Working at the Institut Laue Langevin

For the past few weeks I have been working with my friend and collaborator Maxime at the ILL in Grenoble, France.  We’ve been working on a paper about the effects of fluctuations on proteins.  It’s been really fun being the odd-one-out experimentalist amidst this group of dyed in the wool theorists.

Back in the lab, Dileep and Gabe are making enormous progress on the AFM.  After just a few weeks of working in the lab it seems that they don’t need me at all!

Interesting paper on bulk nanorheology

Maxime Clusel sent me a link to this paper, “Elasticity of Globular Proteins Measured from the ac Susceptibility,” by Y Wang and G Zocchi.  It details a beautiful experiment in which they measure the linear visco-elastic response of glubular proteins and short DNA molecules.  They use the molecules to tether electrically charged gold nanoparticles to a surface and then excite the molecules by applying an electric potential and inducing movement of the nanoparticles.  The resulting change in particle-surface distance (i.e. the amount that the molecule has stretched) is measured by evanescent wave scattering, which ends up with a resolution on the average extension of many molecules of ~ 0.1 Å!  Incredible!