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Home > News > Embedded DNA Commands Let Nanomachines Follow Instructions, Assemble Components

May 18th, 2010

Embedded DNA Commands Let Nanomachines Follow Instructions, Assemble Components

Abstract:
Nanotech has opened the door to some serious sci-fi possibilities: tiny robots -- built by other tiny robots -- that swim in our bloodstreams eradicating infection or hunting tumors, or perhaps assembling miniscule electronic components. But programming such tiny objects to do what we want presents a problem: commands need space to exist, and space is limited aboard a nanobot. But two papers just published in the journal Nature today highlight an interesting and promising approach to this problem: embedding the commands in the nanobots' environments.

In one paper, researchers describe a "molecular spider" designed to perform a particular task, in this case walking along a certain, pre-programmed path. While traditional robots would rely on internal memory and processing to orient themselves toward their programmed goals, this spider gathers its commands from an environment that has been precisely defined by the researchers beforehand via nucleotides placed exactly where they want the spider to step.

Source:
popsci.com

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