Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have shown that, by employing small pieces of DNA molecules called aptamers, nanomaterials can be smart enough to assemble or disassemble only in the presence of programmable signals such as AND or OR, with controllable cooperativity.
Setting a milestone towards fast DNA sequencing by a nanopore device, researchers developed a solid state nanopore device that can detect the difference between single molecules of double and single stranded DNA at high speed, with high accuracy, and at extreme pH. This research is a key step to develop a nanopore sequencing machine. More immediate application may be the sensing of long chain polymers for medical diagnostics.
A new approach promotes the use of zinc oxide nanomaterials as signal enhancing platforms for rapid, multiplexed, high-throughput, highly sensitive, DNA sensor arrays. Engineered nanoscale ZnO structures can be effectively used for the identification of the biothreat agent, Bacillus anthracis, by successfully discriminating its DNA sequence from other genetically related species.
French and U.S. researchers designed a nanomechanical DNA switch controlled by the rate of temperature variation, thereby providing a flexible, scalable alternative to simultaneous chemical control of different DNA switches at equilibrium.