05 January 2006

Progress in Nano-assembly

Image from Medgadget.com
Biosingularity reports on yet another advance in the use of DNA in nanostructures. The Oxford researchers developed a family of rapid assembly DNA nano-tetrahedra. These structures assemble themselves rapidly, and are small enough to hold single protein molecules. Presently these structures have the functionality of nano-tinkertoys, but it is not difficult to imagine using them for drug delivery systems, or as scaffolding for assembling more complex nano-structures. More information here.

Theoretical biologists speculate that life on earth may have begun when proteins or nucleic acids used molecular scale clay structure as "forms," providing a catalyst for polymerisation and "reproduction." They also speculate that proteins may have formed a scaffolding for nucleic acids, or RNA may have provided a scaffolding for the more stable DNA--each product becoming the "catalyst" for the next step. Matter abides, and is patient in its experimentations. Humans are less patient, but smarter.

Scientists at Rutgers have fabricated an octahedral container in a procedure described here.

Finally, researchers at IBM Research are discovering ways to self-assemble nano-structures, for any number of possible functions.

These different methods of forming nanostructures are only starting points. It is the rate of discovery that seems to be increasing. Each discovery is likely to spark several other discoveries in turn.

Medgadget provided a link and the graphic.
Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts