X

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy.

I agree
Learn More
Great Geek Gifts in the Technabob Shop!Get Technabob Daily: Join our Mailing List! | Follow Us: Facebook | Twitter
Awesomer Media Sites: THE AWESOMER | MIGHTYMEGA | 95OCTANE
subscribe to our rss feedsubscribe via e-mailfollow technabob on twittertechnabob facebook fan pageGoogle+follow us in feedly
Follow Us:

Harvard Researchers Make Smileys with DNA

by Shane McGlaun
Advertisement

Scientists from Harvard University have been able to coax DNA into assembling themselves into numbers, letters, symbols, Chinese characters, and even emoticons such as the ubiquitous smiley. These tiny strands of DNA measure billionths of a meter long and represent the next stage in “DNA origami.”

dna_font_smileys

DNA is usually arranged into a double helix, which looks like a ladder that is twisted. Researchers have “unzipped” the ladder and then cut it lengthwise. The team used short lengths of DNA each having 42 rungs that interlock with complementary stretches of the molecule to bend themselves into specific shapes.

The scientists were able to create 107 different designs including smiley faces and other shapes, including one that appears to be in the shape of a man and one that looks like an army tank (or maybe it’s a duck.) Each character measures just 64 nanometers by 103 nanometers, and has a total of 310 available pixels.

Coaxing DNA strands to take on specific shapes isn’t simply for fun and games. The scientists say that being able to create specific shapes could allow DNA to be used as a framework for at the molecular scale for building medications and more.

[via ABC]




Comments are closed for posts older than 90 days.

Recent Posts

Backpack VR Computers Are a Thing Now Thanks to the HP Omen X

Backpack VR Computers Are a Thing Now Thanks to the HP Omen X

Tony Hawk Pro Skater: Zero Gravity Edition

Tony Hawk Pro Skater: Zero Gravity Edition

Princess Bride Coffee Cup Helps You Build Resistance to Iocane Powder

Princess Bride Coffee Cup Helps You Build Resistance to Iocane Powder

Last Chance: Save 50% on Scrivener 2 for Mac or PC

Last Chance: Save 50% on Scrivener 2 for Mac or PC

DIY Burning Psylocke Psionic Blade: Telepyrokinesis

DIY Burning Psylocke Psionic Blade: Telepyrokinesis

More from Awesomer Media...

The Awesomer Logo MightyMega Logo 95octane Logo