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Scientists begin using DNA to form consistent nanostructures

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posted on Feb, 15 2008 @ 10:27 PM
I am not a "sacred geometry" kind of guy. But I have this firm belief that life did not require a "spark" or anything like that to form. I think life is the rule, and its' absence is the exception. It would seem to me that the blocks that we are built from are wildly and dynamically self organizing. Our DNA would seem to have a propensity for certain bonding arrays, and we often see these repeated.

On 2-8 (my 7 year anniversary at my job, BTW) the following was published:

DNA the link in nanoparticle construction

DNA would appear to be the best option for guiding the assembly of the nanoparticle bricks into the desired construction. DNA strands can be attached to the nanoparticles, with sequences programmed to zip up with complementary DNA strands on a neighboring particle.


Using a single DNA linker sequence results in a close-packed, face-centered cubic crystal structure. But using two different linker sequences that bind to each other but not themselves gives a binary system, which crystallizes in an open, body-centered cubic structure.

“We are now closer to the dream of learning, as nanoscientists, how to break everything down into fundamental building blocks and reassemble them into whatever structure we want,” says Mirkin.

The interesting piece for me is that they have found the greatest initial success with gold. Gold, as we all know, has very special properties (primarily relative to light/EM). So it does not surprise me that it has been the most successfully tested material.

And these guys aren't the only one's working through the concept:

Using a similar method, researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) have further investigated the interactions between complementary DNA-functionalized nanoparticles [Nykypanchuk et al., Nature (2008) 451, 549].

We are getting closer and closer to stepping into the shoes of "creator", instead of just being the "created".

posted on Feb, 15 2008 @ 10:35 PM
Programming Advanced Materials
Researchers create three-dimensional structures using DNA-directed assembly.

Mirkin says that he and his team are just getting started. "To me, it's really only the start rather than the ending," he says. Over the past three years, Mirkin's group has been demonstrating methods to place different DNA linkers on different faces of nonspherical particles, such as triangle-faced prisms and virus particles. That, he says, should enable programming of more complex materials with repeating patterns of three or more components. "The really intriguing possibility here is the ability to program the formation of any structure you want," says Mirkin.

WHOA....they are talking about the use of viral DNA to aid in the structuring?


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