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

A nanoscale wireless communication system via plasmonic antennas: Greater control affords 'in-plane' transmission of waves at or near visible light August 27th, 2016

A promising route to the scalable production of highly crystalline graphene films August 26th, 2016

Analog DNA circuit does math in a test tube: DNA computers could one day be programmed to diagnose and treat disease August 25th, 2016

Silicon nanoparticles trained to juggle light: Research findings prove the capabilities of silicon nanoparticles for flexible data processing in optical communication systems August 25th, 2016

Discoveries

A promising route to the scalable production of highly crystalline graphene films August 26th, 2016

Graphene under pressure August 26th, 2016

Nanofur for oil spill cleanup: Materials researchers learn from aquatic ferns: Hairy plant leaves are highly oil-absorbing / publication in bioinspiration & biomimetics / video on absorption capacity August 25th, 2016

Unraveling the crystal structure of a -70 Celsius superconductor, a world first: Significant advancement in the realization of room-temperature superconductors August 25th, 2016

Announcements

A nanoscale wireless communication system via plasmonic antennas: Greater control affords 'in-plane' transmission of waves at or near visible light August 27th, 2016

Forces of nature: Interview with microscopy innovators Gerd Binnig and Christoph Gerber August 26th, 2016

A promising route to the scalable production of highly crystalline graphene films August 26th, 2016

Graphene under pressure August 26th, 2016

Nanobiotechnology

Analog DNA circuit does math in a test tube: DNA computers could one day be programmed to diagnose and treat disease August 25th, 2016

Nanofiber scaffolds demonstrate new features in the behavior of stem and cancer cells August 25th, 2016

Johns Hopkins scientists track metabolic pathways to find drug combination for pancreatic cancer August 25th, 2016

50 years after the release of the film 'Fantastic Voyage,' science upstages fiction: Science upstages fiction with nanorobotic agents designed to travel in the human body to treat cancer August 25th, 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







Car Brands
Buy website traffic