KENNETH EWARD / BIOGRAFX / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KENNETH EWARD / BIOGRAFX / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Biosensor. Computer artwork of a ribozyme strand (an enzyme with the structure of RNA - ribonucleic acid) attached to a silicon surface coated in gold (rows of atoms). This set-up can be used as a very sensitive biosensor, capable of detecting very low concentrations of chemicals. The chemicals to be detected will react with the ribozyme, causing its detachment from the tether (blue, lower centre) that holds it to the surface. This will send an electronic signal that is amplified and recorded by detection equipment. The ribozyme's structure is similar to the double helix of DNA.
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