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Cover image for Vol. 10 Issue 20

7_15/2011Nanopores: The Passage of Homopolymeric RNA through Small Solid-State Nanopores (Small 15/2011)

The cover picture, prepared by Gary M. Skinner, depicts a single molecule of the RNA homopolymer poly(U) (green), as it is electrically driven through a molecular-sized (diameter ≈ 2 nm), solid-state nanopore etched into a 20-nm-thick silicon nitride membrane. The highly flexible molecule ‘crowds’ the pore entrance, in some cases preventing translocation and instead forming a coiled structure that leads to significant blockage of the ionic current passing through the nanopore. Many biotechnological applications of nanopores require them to operate on this size-scale, and therefore our understanding of how biopolymers behave under such conditions is critical. For more information, please read the Full Paper “The Passage of Homopolymeric RNA through Small Solid-State Nanopores” by N. H. Dekker and co-workers, beginning on page 2217.

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