Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Nano-scale structures made from DNA: study

Abstract:
Best known as the blueprint for life, DNA is also a marvel of architecture that can be used to build 3-D structures measured in billionths of a metre, according to a study released Wednesday.

Nano-scale structures made from DNA: study

PARIS, France | Posted on March 12th, 2008

A team of scientists in the United States has shown in experiments how to construct complex, spherical objects with tiny strings of DNA that assemble by themselves.

DNA nanotechnology uses the building blocks of living organisms not as a repository for biological data, but as a structural material instead.

These molecular-scale biomaterials hold tremendous promise in fields ranging from robotics to electronics to computation, scientists say.

One of the ultimate goals is the self-assembling biochips for nano-computers, according to New York University chemist Nadrian Seeman, a leading expert on on DNA-based technology.

Whether synthetic or natural, DNA strands often display properties that cannot be duplicated in conventional organic or inorganic chemistry.

Such biomaterials have the added advantage of being a renewable resource and, by definition, biodegradable.

The DNA double helix structure consists of two intertwined spirals of sugar and phosphate molecules linked by pairs of nucleotides, the basic building blocks of all life.

In nature, the double helix is about two nanometres wide, and varies in length depending on the organism whose genetic codes it contains. In humans, the DNA ladder consists of some three billion "rungs," or base pairs, that would stretch out nearly a meter (yard) in length if unfolded.

Some two-dimensional DNA nanostructures have already been made by coaxing DNA molecules to interact and lock together in such a way as to produce a desired pattern.

But larger and three-dimensional forms have been harder to make using existing methods because of the need to manipulate hundreds of unique DNA strands.

A team of researchers led by Chengde Mao of Perdue University in Illinois overcame this problem by programming the DNA to first fold into a basic, "pre-fab" structural unit shaped like a three-pointed star.

This made it easier for these uniform units to coalesce into five- or 12-sided geometric forms, or even "buckyballs", molecules with 32 sides composed of 20 hexagons and 12 pentagons.

"We expect that our assembly strategy can be adapted to allow the fabrication of a range of relatively complex three-dimensional structures," the researchers concluded.

####

Copyright © New York University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Chip Technology

Carbon nanotube optics poised to provide pathway to optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing: Researchers are exploring enhanced potential of carbon nanotubes for unique applications June 18th, 2018

Making quantum puddles: Physicists discover how to create the thinnest liquid films ever June 13th, 2018

Leti Presenting Strategic Vision and Hosting a Workshop at SEMICON West: “From Electrons to Photons” Leti Workshop and CEO Media Briefing Set for Tuesday, July 10 in W Hotel, San Francisco June 12th, 2018

Nanometrics Updates Time of Webcast at Stifel 2018 Cross Sector Insight Conference June 12th, 2018

Discoveries

Alzheimer's breakthrough: Brain metals that may drive disease progression revealed: In brains affected by Alzheimer's, researchers identify chemically reduced iron species, with mineral forms including a magnetic iron oxide June 22nd, 2018

Collaboration yields discovery of 12-sided silica cages June 20th, 2018

Carbon nanotube optics poised to provide pathway to optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing: Researchers are exploring enhanced potential of carbon nanotubes for unique applications June 18th, 2018

Camouflaged nanoparticles used to deliver killer protein to cancer June 17th, 2018

Announcements

Northwestern researchers achieve unprecedented control of polymer grids: Materials could find applications in water purification, solar energy storage, body armor June 22nd, 2018

Nanobiotix Publishes Positive Phase 2/3 Data For Nanomedicine in Soft Tissue Cancer (Webcast June 22) June 22nd, 2018

Alzheimer's breakthrough: Brain metals that may drive disease progression revealed: In brains affected by Alzheimer's, researchers identify chemically reduced iron species, with mineral forms including a magnetic iron oxide June 22nd, 2018

Collaboration yields discovery of 12-sided silica cages June 20th, 2018

Nanobiotechnology

Nanobiotix Publishes Positive Phase 2/3 Data For Nanomedicine in Soft Tissue Cancer (Webcast June 22) June 22nd, 2018

Alzheimer's breakthrough: Brain metals that may drive disease progression revealed: In brains affected by Alzheimer's, researchers identify chemically reduced iron species, with mineral forms including a magnetic iron oxide June 22nd, 2018

Collaboration yields discovery of 12-sided silica cages June 20th, 2018

JPK talks with Dr Frank Lafont, Director of the BioImaging Center Lille (BICeL) about the use of the NanoWizard® AFM together with fluorescence microscopy in the study of living cells June 19th, 2018

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project