New York University Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Sub Navigation

NYU, Nanjing U. Chemists Create DNA Assembly Line

May 12, 2010
401

Chemists at New York University and China’s Nanjing University have created a DNA assembly line that has the potential to create novel materials efficiently on the nanoscale. Their work is reported in the latest issue of the journal Nature.

“An industrial assembly line includes a factory, workers, and a conveyor system,” said NYU Chemistry Professor Nadrian Seeman, the study’s senior author. “We have emulated each of those features using DNA components.”

The assembly line relies on three DNA-based components. 

The first is DNA origami, a composition that uses a few hundred short DNA strands to direct a very long DNA strand to form structures to any desired shape. These shapes are approximately 100 x 100 nanometers in area, and about 2 nm thick (a nanometer is one billionth of a meter). DNA origami serves as the assembly line’s framework and also houses its track.

The second are three DNA machines, or cassettes, that serve as programmable cargo-donating devices.  The cargo species the researchers used are gold nanoparticles, which measure 5 to 10 nanometers in diameter. Changing the cassette’s control sequences allows the researchers to enable or prevent the donation of the cargoes to the growing construct.

The third is a DNA “walker,” which is analogous to the chassis of a car being assembled.  It moves along the assembly line’s track, stopping at the DNA machines to collect and carry the DNA “cargo.”

As the walker moves along the pathway prescribed by the origami tile track, it encounters sequentially the three DNA devices. These devices can be switched between an “on” state, allowing its cargo to be transferred to the walker, and an “off” state, in which no transfer occurs. In this way, the DNA product at the end of the assembly line may include cargo picked up from one, two, or three of the DNA machines.

“A key feature of the assembly line is the programmability of the cargo-donating DNA machines, which allows the generation of eight different products,” explained Seeman.

This Press Release is in the following Topics:
NYUToday-feature, Arts and Science, Research, Faculty

Type: Press Release

Press Contact: James Devitt | (212) 998-6808

NYU, Nanjing U. Chemists Create DNA Assembly Line

Chemists at New York University and China’s Nanjing University have created a DNA assembly line--similar to an automotive assembly line--that has the potential to create novel materials efficiently on the nanoscale. Photo © istockphoto.com/Brasil2


Search News



NYU In the News

NYU Received a Record Number of Applications

Capital New York reported NYU received a record 60,322 applications for the class of 2019, an increase of about 15 percent since last year.

NYU Students Help City Crack Down on Hookah Bars

Capital New York reported that NYU students helped New York City crack down on hookah bars that illegally include tobacco in their hookahs:

Rudin Center Study Says Mass Transit Helps Economic Mobility

The Wall Street Journal wrote about a report by Wagner’s Rudin Center that showed that mass transit could be more important than education in determining economic mobility.

Brennan Center Report Says Campaign Spending Has Jumped

Frontline did a piece about a report by the Brennan Center for Justice that said that campaign spending by outside groups has more than doubled in the last five years.

NYU’s Dorms Ranked Among the Best in the Nation

Hometalk.com ranked NYU’s student residences third in the country in its list of best college dorms.

 


NYU Footer