Science dna symbols letters numbers

Published on May 31st, 2012 | by James Ayre

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DNA Manipulated By Nano-Machines To Shape Words

May 31st, 2012 by

 

dna letters

Wyss researchers have built numerals, letters, and a number of other structures using short strands of DNA as building blocks.

Researchers have recently developed a technique to build complex nano-structures out of short synthetic strands of DNA.

Referred to as single-stranded tiles (SST), the short strands of DNA are interlocking building blocks similar to LEGOs®. They can be programmed to arrange themselves in very precisely designed shapes, such as numbers, letters, and shapes.

The researchers hope that further developing this technology will allow the creation of new nano-scales devices that could perform functions such as precise deliveries of drugs to specific organs or disease sites.

DNA is known as the keeper of genetic information. In the new field of nano-technology, it’s being explored as a material for making tiny, self-assembling structures. These structures could then be used for a wide range of different applications.

Previous to this new research, most was done by using a single, long strand of biological DNA as a backbone with smaller strands binding to it to create different shapes.

The new technique focuses on the smaller strands, each SST is a single, short, strand of DNA that can interlock with other SST’s. If there are no complementary matches, then the blocks do not connect. This allows a collection of tiles to arrange itself into specific predetermined shapes.

To demonstrate the method, the researchers created over 100 different shapes, including letters, numbers, fonts, and Chinese characters. The technique uses hundreds of different tiles for a single structure of 100 nano-meters.

The researchers think that this technique could have important applications in medicine, such as in drug delivery systems. Their advantages being high biocompatibility, their flexibility and range of possible programming, and their robustness.

“Use of DNA nanotechnology to create programmable nanodevices is an important focus at the Wyss Institute, because we believe so strongly in its potential to produce a paradigm-shifting approach to development of new diagnostics and therapeutics,” said Wyss Founding Director, Donald Ingber, M.D., Ph.D.

The research was supported by the Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Wyss Institute at Harvard University.

The research has just been published in the journal Science.

Source and Images: Harvard University

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.



  • Jesse

    No thanks to vaccines!

  • http://facebook Jim

    For those of you not wanting to lose,your religion look away now.In the period of the year when there were Reptilian,life abundant here on earth.The council of Gods debated Should our race be permitted to,Ramp up genetic, systems A marriage from flesh to the machine chips and manipulate the future of all Neburians ,New forms of life sprang forth,to do the labor,the wars were no longer fought by flesh and blood but by androids,the bodies of our criminals were harvested for parts to supply an ever growing need of oxygen depleted lungs and livers.We found that alone almost erased crime in our society.On we marched to victory was assured.Even God was on our side,or so we thought. Then we discovered the secret hidden for eons ,We were part of a much larger Cosmic system,Our sun had a twin it was from a binary set.there were others out there.and we were their food

  • Tony

    It sounds good, but what are the long term effects of introducing foreign DNA into a Human’s body to fix some problems, what happens to that DNA afterwards?

    Sounds a lot like a Vaccine Process. And we all know the dangers of simple Vaccines, and putting virus’ into your body even in small amounts can cause problems. Now turn that Virus into an even smaller form with even more power, and things could go wrong.

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