DNA Contortionist
Researchers have found a way that DNA strands are twisted to give different forms, which may one day be used to fabricate nanoscale systems to provide drugs to the body, train or study tissue samples of proteins. Their discovery offers the potential for nanotechnology to construct objects with continuous curvature.

Hendrik Dietz and his colleagues describe in the latest issue of Science (reference Article 1 below) how the nanoscale curved objects such as wheels, arches, hooks. They designed beams DNA helices arranged in a honeycomb. Some of these propellers have additional base pairs, while others have less, thus creating tensions across useful for assembling beams curved objects.

Using this method the researchers have managed to control the direction and degree of curvature, even going back to molecules with angles very closed. The authors were able to combine different elements curved in order to build complex shapes such as balls or sprockets.

Yan Liu and Hao Yan back on the job in a related Perspective article (reference section 2 below).

Article 1: Folding DNA into Twisted and Curved Nanoscale Shapes
Authors: Hendrik Dietz, Shawn M. Douglas, William M. Shih
Journal Publication: Science

Article 2: Designer Curvature
Authors: Y. Liu and H. Yan
Journal Publication: Science


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