Biological Nanomachines: Viruses by: M. Gail Jones, Michael R. Falvo, Amy R. Taylor, and Bethany P. Broadwell

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Although nanotechnology is a new and emerging field, nanoscale structures are not new. Small molecules such as water, large molecules such as proteins, and larger, more complex objects such as viruses and nanotubes are naturally occurring and exist all around us. Viruses are particularly interesting nanoscale objects because of their precise geometrical shape, their self-assembling capability, and their fascinating ability to invade cells and alter their function. Nanoscale science researchers are studying virus properties with the aim of developing new treatments for human disease. The virus is also being studied as a model for how to make materials and engineer products at the nanoscsale through a process called “self-assembly.” In this investigation, students create an icosahedral virus model and consider how virus structure and behavior could be mimicked in nanotechnology applications. This free selection includes the Table of Contents and Introduction.

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