Penn Science Café explores one biomolecule at a time

Yale E. Goldman

Everyone from hardcore material scientists to "Jersey Shore" celebrities benefit from nanotechnology, the next great field of engineering expected to change everything from drug delivery to the way we apply sunscreen. But actually understanding this world-changing field of science is a bit more difficult than it appears, since scientists themselves have only begun to scratch the surface of its possibilities.

For the curious among us, Yale E. Goldman (pictured), a professor in the Department of Physiology and associate director of the Nano/Bio Interface Center at Penn, presents, “Nature’s Nanotechnology: Biomolecules Explored One at a Time,” on Wednesday, Oct. 20, as part of this season’s Penn Science Café.

Nanotechnology has the potential to miniaturize computers, communications devices, sensors, actuators and drug delivery vehicles. The challenge currently confronting researchers is developing new manufacturing concepts essential to capturing the promise of the industry. So, science is looking to nature. 

Nature has already solved the design and assembly issues in making robust nanometer-sized machines. Macromolecules and supramolecular assemblies carry out myriad cellular roles, producing motion, shape changes, signaling and processing of genetic information with remarkable agility.

Goldman will discuss these natural nanomachines and how advances in technology help to understand their adaptation to their nano-scale environment. 

The Penn Science Café is a lecture series that transports science out of the lab and into one of University City’s most premiere event spaces, the MarBar at 40th and Walnut streets, 2nd floor above the Marathon Grill. All lectures begin at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public.

To RSVP, contact Jacquie Posey at 215-898-6460 or email


Originally published on October 7, 2010