Monday, February 04, 2013

DNA nanotechnology gets real

DNA nanotech is a field I've followed from its very beginnings, i. e. Nadrian Seeman's DNA cube in the early 90s. Back then, it was playful "misuse" of the tools developed for molecular biology, but increasingly, the methodology has become more versatile and sophisticated, leading us to a point now, where people can design complex and useful things, like nanopores, self-assemble them rapidly and efficiently, and rely on getting the structure they designed. There aren't many molecules you can do that with on a scale of tens of nanometres. So, while it remains an oddity that people misuse an information molecule to build machines, DNA nanotech has grown up into a technology to be taken very seriously.

My latest feature on this field is out in Current Biology today:

DNA nanotechnology gets real

Current Biology, Volume 23, Issue 3, R95-R98, 4 February 2013

doi:10.1016/j.cub.2013.01.049

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(Image: with permission from Langecker et al., Science (2012) 338, 932.)

PS: I've also covered the same work in an article in German, published in May 2013:

Spektrum der Wissenschaft 5/2013, S. 16

Materialwissenschaft: DNA-Nanotechnologie vor dem großen Sprung

First para and limited access to PDF

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