The Department of Bionanoscience focuses on the fundamental understanding of biological processes, from the level of single molecules to the full complexity of living cells. This research provides fascinating insight in the molecular mechanisms that lead to cellular function. Furthermore it enables the in vitro bottom-up construction of cellular machinery and it impacts applications ranging from biomolecular diagnostics to novel antibiotics and targeted nanomedicine. The department features a strongly multidisciplinary and international team of scientists, whose research areas include single-molecule biophysics, synthetic biology, as well as (quantitative) cell biology.
Loops, loops, and more loops: This is how your DNA gets organised
Researchers from the Kavli Institute of Delft University and EMBL Heidelberg now managed for the first time to isolate and film and witnessed—in real time—how a single protein complex called condensin reels in DNA to extrude a loop.
Mathematics explains why Crispr-Cas9 sometimes cuts the wrong DNA
The discovery of the Cas9 protein has been of great value to medical science. It has simplified gene editing tremendously, and may even make it possible to eliminate many hereditary diseases in the near future. Using Cas9, researchers have the ability to cut DNA in a cell to correct mutated genes, or paste new pieces of genetic material into the newly opened spot. Initially, the Crispr-Cas9 system seemed to be extremely accurate. But unfortunately, it is now apparent that Cas9 sometimes also cuts other DNA sequences similar to the exact sequences it was programmed to target. Scientists at Delft University of Technology have developed a mathematical model that explains why Cas9 cuts some DNA sequences while leaving others alone.