Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
JIB
BioConferenceLive

DNA Bricks Have Potential Applications in Several Nanotech and Biotech Fields

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 25 Dec 2013
Image: Interlocking DNA bricks create a three-dimensional molecular canvas. Each canvas is composed of many oligonucleotides, or DNA bricks, that have four consecutive eight nucleotide domains. The bricks assemble at right angles to other interlocking bricks, using standard A-T and G-C base pairing (Photo courtesy of Integrated DNA Technologies).
Image: Interlocking DNA bricks create a three-dimensional molecular canvas. Each canvas is composed of many oligonucleotides, or DNA bricks, that have four consecutive eight nucleotide domains. The bricks assemble at right angles to other interlocking bricks, using standard A-T and G-C base pairing (Photo courtesy of Integrated DNA Technologies).
Researchers have been exploiting the unique physical properties of DNA in order to develop applications not related to its role in storing genetic information.

Investigators at Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA, USA) have relied on highly purified oligonucleotides obtained from Integrated DNA Technologies (Coralville, IA, USA) to create three-dimensional DNA constructs or "bricks.” These bricks have potential applications in several different fields such as catalysts in the development of drug compounds or as elements to create electrical circuit boards on the nanometer scale.

A DNA brick is a relatively simple, single-stranded, 32-base DNA oligonucleotide construct. Each brick has four consecutive eight-base domains, and they assemble at right angles to complementary interlocking oligonucleotides guided by these eight-base domains. A computer program developed in the laboratory of Dr. Pen Yin, assistant professor of systems biology at Harvard Medical School, then "paints" the oligonucleotides onto a virtual molecular canvas that is represented as 10 x 10 x 10 cubic volumetric pixel elements or "voxels.” A three-dimensional shape is created by withholding individual voxels from the brick, and the software then determines which oligonucleotides are required to form the resulting three-dimensional canvas structure.

DNA bricks can be easily modified with other functional molecules, such as fluorophores, and can serve as a scaffold for growing other molecular matrices, such as those formed from SiO2, which have many material applications.

Related Links:

Harvard Medical School
Integrated DNA Technologies



comments powered by Disqus

Channels

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: Molecular rendering of the crystal structure of parkin (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Cinnamon Feeding Blocks Development of Parkinson's Disease in Mouse Model

A team of neurological researchers has identified a molecular mechanism by which cinnamon acts to protect neurons from damage caused by Parkinson's disease (PD) in a mouse model of the syndrome.... Read more

Therapeutics

view channel
Image: This type of electronic pacemaker could become obsolete if induction of biological pacemaker cells by gene therapy proves successful (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Gene Therapy Induces Functional Pacemaker Cells in Pig Heart Failure Model

Cardiovascular disease researchers working with a porcine heart failure model have demonstrated the practicality of using gene therapy to replace implanted electronic pacemakers to regulate heartbeat.... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel
Image: A one-year-old baby sits in a brain scanner, called magnetoencephalography (MEG)—a noninvasive approach to measuring brain activity. The baby listens to speech sounds such as “da” and “ta” played over headphones while researchers record her brain responses (Photo courtesy of the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences at the University of Washington).

Brain Scanner Shows Infants’ Brains Rehearse Speech Sounds Months Before Their First Words

New research in 7- and 11-month-old infants revealed that speech sounds stimulate brain regions that coordinate and plan motor movements for speech. The new study suggests that babies’ brains begin establishing... Read more

Business

view channel

Cancer Immunotherapy Sector Predicted to Surge to USD 9 Billion Across Major Pharma Through 2022

The immunotherapy market will experience substantial growth through 2022, increasing from USD 1.1 billion in 2012 to nearly USD 9 billion in 2022 (corresponding to 23.8% annual growth) in the United Kingdom, United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Japan, according to recent market research. This notable growth... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.