Biomod/2011/UTAustin/Hook'em Hybridizers

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  • Team name: The Hook'em Hybridizers
  • Institution: The University of Texas at Austin


The Counting Machine as a Modular Nanoscale DNA Component.

One major goal of nanotechnology is to control chemical reactions pera logical specification. Nano-biological devices have been"programmed" to function as AND / OR gates, timed oscillators, motors,and to have other forms of controlled responses to their environment.We have engineered a prototype of an enzyme-free DNA circuit based on toeholdexchange to 'count' signal pulses corresponding to additions of adefined chemical. Counting, by our definition, needs to meet twocriteria: First, the input being being counted is a single chemicalused for each pulse. Second, the counter should output an ON signalonly when some fixed number of pulses have been encountered,regardless of the amount of input added in any pulse, and the strengthof the ON signal should be independent of the amount of input addedeach pulse. The molecular basis of our prototype count-to-two unitincludes (1) a time-delayedsignal transduction series coupled to an AND gate and (2) a mechanism forconstant input degradation. In theory such units can be connected seriallyto make a counter that is capable to count to any pre-specified finitenumber.