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DNA 'Velcro' binds nanoparticles

Discussion in 'Channel Zero' started by casekonly, Dec 20, 2004.

  1. casekonly

    casekonly Veteran Member

    Joined: Aug 6, 2002 Messages: 8,264 Likes Received: 5
    Strands of DNA have been used to fasten - and then separate - nanoparticles in experiments that could lead to the development of fundamentally "self-constructing" materials.

    Christof Niemeyer and colleagues at the University of Dortmund, Germany, used sections of artificially synthesised DNA to attach gold nanoparticles together before separating them again.

    DNA consists of two complementary strands that bind together depending on the chemical "bases" on either strand. Attaching nanoparticles by appending them to complementary strands of DNA is a tried and tested technique, already used in some protein sensing systems. But, until now, no one has shown that it is possible to separate the strands again afterwards.

    Selectively binding nanoparticles could provide a way to construct complex nanostructures piece by piece, using different DNA strands to add different nanoparticles. These materials could have novel electrical and optical properties that cannot currently be obtained using conventional chemistry.
    Third strand

    Being able to separate these materials again would offer even greater flexibility. Niemeyer says it could conceivably be used to modify nanostructures after construction. "It could be used to build [self-constructing] materials," he told New Scientist. "Although that is very far off at the moment."

    The team uses artificial DNA, fabricated to have particular bases. Each gold particle - measuring around 15 nanometres (15 billionths of a metre) across - is attached using sulphur to the centre of a DNA strand. The strand extends out on either side.

    Two gold particles are then joined together by adding a third strand of DNA that complements half of each gold-bound DNA strand and attaches to both, forming a bridge. This just left the problem of how to separate the gold particles once the bridge was firmly in place.
    Peeling away

    So Niemeyer's team developed the bridging strand of DNA to have one end longer than the other with the tip of the long end refusing to attach to the gold-bound strands, leaving it loose.

    The trick, finally, was to use an additional fourth piece of DNA to bind to this loose end of the bridging strand before "peeling" it away completely - like pulling off a piece of Velcro - leaving the gold particles separated once again.

    Chad Mirkin, who pioneered the use of DNA as a nanoscale construction material says the approach is interesting, although the potential applications remain unclear.

    "It's a step towards creating a structure where you could have triggerable changes," says Mirkin, now based at Northwestern University in Chicago, US. "But it's not yet clear where these would be useful."

    Journal reference: Angewandte Chemie (vol 43, p 6469)
  2. villain

    villain Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 12, 2002 Messages: 5,190 Likes Received: 2
    It would be cool if you could bind medicines to pathogens.
    I would make a suit that could sense where extra protection is needed and provide it.... I would also have the arm transform into a gatling gun.... And maybe make boosters on my feet. Yeah, sci-fi is fun.
  3. High Priest

    High Priest Elite Member

    Joined: Jan 1, 2002 Messages: 4,928 Likes Received: 4
    Some one dumb this down further for me.
  4. villain

    villain Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 12, 2002 Messages: 5,190 Likes Received: 2
    I think it's saying they put particles on different strands of DNA and when the DNA combines so do the particles. Very interesting stuff.
  5. i wanna make a pillow out of tits
  6. casekonly

    casekonly Veteran Member

    Joined: Aug 6, 2002 Messages: 8,264 Likes Received: 5
    breast pillows would be cool, but think about armor plating....
  7. duh-rye-won

    duh-rye-won Member

    Joined: Aug 8, 2001 Messages: 580 Likes Received: 2
    we are all gonna die.
  8. willy.wonka

    willy.wonka Guest

    alright..reading that just shows how stupid i am.

    does this mean that they are trying to manufacture gold?

    cause non of that made sence to me..maybe im destined to be a garbage man or something
  9. Chance Em Redy

    Chance Em Redy Junior Member

    Joined: Oct 10, 2004 Messages: 221 Likes Received: 0
    "But it's not yet clear where these would be useful."

    So i dont get it, theyre doing this research and experimentation just to see if they can? From what i gathered from this, basically these scientists have figured a way to make particles stick together and break apart via DNA strands. When i hear this i first think of some Star Trek shiet. Perhaps this technology would be useful for making stealth ninja robots that could break themselves up and "crawl" under meth labs doors, and then reconstruct themselves complete with twin gattling guns enabling them to take out the drug lords inside with the greatest of ease.

    I need sleep.
  10. fermentor666

    fermentor666 Veteran Member

    Joined: Sep 27, 2003 Messages: 8,152 Likes Received: 15
    Fuck pants, who needs em? I'm getting naked.
  11. AC/DC

    AC/DC Member

    Joined: Aug 14, 2002 Messages: 932 Likes Received: 0
    God told me this would happen.... the end is nigh!! REPENT!! REPENTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!

    But for real, I want lasers in my eyes.
  12. casekonly

    casekonly Veteran Member

    Joined: Aug 6, 2002 Messages: 8,264 Likes Received: 5
    technology really does make it possible.
  13. Æ°

    Æ° Senior Member

    Joined: May 12, 2002 Messages: 1,974 Likes Received: 6
    Who else wants a diamond exoskeleton?
  14. <KEY3>

    <KEY3> Veteran Member

    Joined: Mar 24, 2004 Messages: 6,878 Likes Received: 2

    technology never ceases to dumbfound me.

    Hey Jerkfaces..... what about cancer???
  15. JohnnyHorton

    JohnnyHorton Senior Member

    Joined: Apr 2, 2002 Messages: 2,201 Likes Received: 0
    ^ what about it? cancer is always going to happen
    AIDS is probably more worrisome than cancer is fosho