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Nanotechnology Spotlight

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Showing Spotlights 1 - 8 of 55 in category DNA-based Nanotechnology (newest first):


Hydrogen bond strength in DNA: where 3 could be less than 2

hydrogen_bondsHydrogen bond base pairing forces are essential for the mechanisms associated with DNA stability. Despite attracting great research attention, this fundamental interaction has eluded a precise physical description so far since its electrical origin has not been quantified yet. Researchers now have proposed characterization by means of electrical forces, providing a framework for universal characterization of hydrogen bonds. In this way, they provide technical arguments to support that hydrogen bonds are well distinguishable and their role in biological events require a proper specific intrabond description.

Posted: Oct 10th, 2017

A DNA-based rewritable memory device

dnaDNA is well known as the genetic material, but has also been used as a building block for the construction of nanoscale structures and periodic arrays. One other application is the storage of information in DNA. Such an information storage method has many advantages including longevity and ability for highly dense storage, and is more suited for archival storage of data. In new work, scientists use shape-changing DNA nanostructures for short term storage of data, where the information is 'written' in different conformations of the nanostructures. The stored data can be easily read-out using gel electrophoresis, eliminating any multi-step or costly methods.

Posted: Sep 18th, 2017

Amplifying fluorescent signals in molecular sensing with DNA walkers

DNA_walkerSynthetic nanomotors and DNA walkers, which mimic a cell's transportation system, are intricately designed systems that draw chemical energy from the environment and convert it into mechanical motion. Using such DNA walkers as signal amplifier for nucleic acids detection has only recently been reported. Researchers now report that they converted a DNA walker into a linear fluorescence signal amplifier on a rectangle DNA origami that can improve the detection of target molecules such as nucleic acids.

Posted: Aug 21st, 2017

From gene sequencing to genome mapping with nanopores and nanochannels

genome_sequencingOne reason why people are so excited about nanopore DNA sequencing is that the technology could possibly be used to create 'tricorder'-like devices for detecting pathogens or diagnosing genetic disorders rapidly and on-the-spot. Sequencing technologies have made it cheaper and faster to read the sequence of bases on a strand of DNA. A promising technology to take these advances further is nanopore sequencing. Yet, nanopores enable another important way to analyze DNA: genomes can also be mapped.

Posted: Nov 21st, 2016

Snail-inspired nanosensor detects and maps mRNA in living cells

snailPresently, several techniques for detecting mRNAs are available,which include in situ hybridization and polymerase chain reaction. However, these single-point and end-point techniques require the killing of the cells and are thus unable to capture the expression of mRNA in real time and locality with high precision. In new work, scientists describe a new way of preparing functional DNA nanostructures that can provide accurate quantification and visualization of mRNA transcripts in living cells.

Posted: May 6th, 2015

Novel material design principle for both tissue engineering and gene delivery by nanocomposites

biomineralsBiomineralization is the formation of inorganic materials in a biological environment, as it is found in bones, teeth and shells. Certain biominerals are also often associated with pathogeneses of tissues. The correlation of the composition of biominerals with pathogeneses of tissues has not been investigated systematically. In new work, researchers examine how the composition of biominerals correlates with the production of inflammatory cytokines associated with the stimulation of intracellular DNA sensors and by biominerals themselves.

Posted: Apr 22nd, 2015

Fuzzy and Boolean logic gates based on DNA nanotechnology

DNA-logic_gateResearch related to molecular logic gates is a fast growing and very active area and molecular devices have become the new frontier in computing. Researchers now have designed and synthesized self-assembled DNA complexes that sense two environmental signals and produce a fluorescent outputs corresponding to the operation of all six Boolean logic gates AND, NAND, OR, NOR, XOR, and XNOR. This study could help improvements in the fields of molecular computation and intelligent drug delivery.

Posted: Apr 20th, 2015

3D printed 'smart glue' leverages DNA assembly at the macroscale

colloidal_gelDesigning systems that build themselves is one of the great dreams of nanotechnology researchers, and they are taking great strides towards developing such 'bottom-up' nanotechnology fabrication techniques. Fabrication processes based on DNA might change this: DNA origami have been heralded as a potential breakthrough for the creation of nanoscale devices. Researchers have now developed methods to assemble DNA-functionalized microparticles into a colloidal gel, and to extrude this gel with a 3D printer at centimeter size scales.

Posted: Jan 29th, 2015