Chatterji, Dipankar (1999) Search for an individual in the midst of a crowd: Tracking a single molecule. In: Current Science, 76 (10). pp. 1295-1296.
Many of us started science at school with test tubes, solutions, concept of moles, Avogardo number, etc. Till today we describe a reaction, be it chemical or biological, as an interaction between groups of organized molecules all behaving in a similar fashion in one group, any aberration from this organized behaviour is not allowed or not detectable at the most. Thus, when we follow a ligand-receptor interaction, we believe that all the ligands in the ensemble (roughly about $10^1^7$ molecules in a micromolar solution) have exactly the same affinity and the same rate of interaction with the receptor. In a radioactive tracer technique, used by biologists, only one single molecule on an average is labelled with a radioactive probe within a million molecules. Yet its behaviour represents the behaviour of the million. Or in other words, the concept of equilibrium thermodynamics guides the study of the interacting species.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Additional Information:||Copyright for this article belongs to Indian Academy of Sciences.|
|Department/Centre:||Division of Biological Sciences > Molecular Biophysics Unit|
|Date Deposited:||29 Mar 2005|
|Last Modified:||19 Sep 2010 04:15|
Actions (login required)