Teensy-weensy tweezers

It sometimes taxes my credulity when I hear that measurement and manipulation of individual molecules is possible. At the California-China Connection conference, Leroy Hood talked about chips in development to measure individual molecules in biological studies. I tend to think, “:Aw, c’mon! You’re pullin’ my leg.”

But here’s an article about a technique developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology that will enable the trapping, measuring, and manipulation of individual bio-molecules. They may be able to stretch out DNA or proteins that tend to behave like snarled rubber-bands. These are the tools in the lab that will enable routine study of life-molecules at a depth and precision never attainable before.