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

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified: Scientists invent ground-breaking new method that puts quantum computers within reach December 5th, 2016

Shape matters when light meets atom: Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices December 4th, 2016

Quantum obstacle course changes material from superconductor to insulator December 1st, 2016

Bumpy surfaces, graphene beat the heat in devices: Rice University theory shows way to enhance heat sinks in future microelectronics November 29th, 2016

Discoveries

Fast, efficient sperm tails inspire nanobiotechnology December 5th, 2016

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified: Scientists invent ground-breaking new method that puts quantum computers within reach December 5th, 2016

Shape matters when light meets atom: Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices December 4th, 2016

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses: Medicine diffusion capsule could locally treat multiple ailments and diseases over several weeks December 3rd, 2016

Announcements

Fast, efficient sperm tails inspire nanobiotechnology December 5th, 2016

Journal Nanotechnology Progress International (JONPI) Volume 6, issue 2 coming out soon! December 5th, 2016

Infrared instrumentation leader secures exclusive use of Vantablack coating December 5th, 2016

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified: Scientists invent ground-breaking new method that puts quantum computers within reach December 5th, 2016

Nanobiotechnology

Fast, efficient sperm tails inspire nanobiotechnology December 5th, 2016

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Nanobiotix Provides Update on Global Development of Lead Product NBTXR3: Seven clinical trials across the world: More than 2/3 of STS patients recruited in the “act.in.sarc” Phase II/III trial: Phase I/II prostate cancer trial now recruiting in the U.S. November 28th, 2016

From champagne bubbles, dance parties and disease to new nanomaterials: Understanding nucleation of protein filaments might help with Alzheimer's Disease and type 2 Diabetes November 24th, 2016

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




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project