Biomod/2011/IITM/AcidArtists/DNA Nanotech

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What is DNA Nanotechnology?

"What if DNA could do more than just store and transmit information?". Mind-boggling as it may seem; that is what someone must have thought while inventing the field of DNA nanotechnology.
DNA nanotechnology makes use of the structural properties of DNA as opposed to its conventional genetic functions. It is akin to cutting a cake with a CD. The CD is analogous to a DNA molecule as its primary function is the storage of information; however if need be its structure can be useful too.

IT'S HISTORY

It isn't quite an apple falling from a tree but the inception of DNA nanotechnology also has an interesting anecdote attached to it. The father of the field, Dr.Nadrian Seeman was inspired by a painting to pursue the field. He noticed a distinct similarity between M. C. Escher woodcut Depth and an array of DNA six-arm junctions.

ITS BASIC PRINCIPLES

DNA nanotechnology owes its entire existence to Wastson-Crick base pairing rules. The main aim of DNA nanotechnology is to design and structure DNA strands in such a way that they fold and form shapes desirable to us. This is only possible thanks to the specificity in binding between complementary base pairs of nucleotide bases.

Modus operandi

The field makes use of a multitude of softwares in order to design the DNA strands as according to the requirement. At the forefront of these softwares is CaDNAno, a state of the art technique that makes use of crystal honeycomb or square lattices to structure DNA double strands.

Applications

DNA nanotechnology provides a novel way to form precise nano-structures. The field is believed to be hold the key to the future of drug delivery systems. It is maintained that DNA nanotechnology is the primary weapon in the arsenal in the fight against cancer.

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