PNAS Plus Significance Statements

2017 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America  
A number of essential processes in biology and materials science, such as vesicle fusion and fission as well as pore formation, change the membrane topology and require formation of saddle surfaces. The energetic cost associated with such deformations is described by the Gaussian curvature modulus. We show that flat 2D colloidal membranes composed of achiral rods are unstable and spontaneously form scalloped edges. Quantitative analysis of such instability estimates the Gaussian curvature
more » ... s of colloidal membranes. The measured sign and magnitude of the modulus can be explained by a simple excluded volume argument that was originally developed for polymeric surfactants. Rapid access to defined, pure biomacromolecules is key to biochemical and biophysical investigations as evidenced by the impact automated solid-phase synthesis of oligonucleotides and oligopeptides had on basic research. Here, a strategy as well as a new instrument to routinely access oligosaccharides by automated synthesis is reported. The method produces glycans quickly and reliably to accelerate fundamental advances in glycobiology. (See pp.
doi:10.1073/pnas.ss11417 fatcat:3navxeejbfbgvguouf6qggdgzu