Prof. William Goddard presented four advances from his research group that enable going from first principles quantum mechanics calculations to realistic nanosystems of interest with millions or billions of atoms.
RNA origami brings new dimensions to nucleic acid nanotechnology by exploiting the much greater variety of RNA structural motifs (compared to DNA) to do what cannot easily be done with DNA origami, like fold into predetermined nanostructures rapidly while being transcribed.
Artificial enzymes have been created from nucleic acids that use synthetic molecules instead of ribose or deoxyribose sugars.
The complex molecular recognition code of RNA offers RNA nanotechnology a greater variety of 3D structures and functions than are present in DNA nanotechnology, but the RNA structures can be fragile. New RNA triangles that resist boiling solve this problem.
A study of RNA structures actually present in cells reveals that cells spend energy restricting thermodynamically driven RNA folding so that fewer RNA structures are found in cells than in test tubes.
A new online game allows players to design RNA molecules. The most promising designs are synthesized, and the players given real-world feedback on how well their designs worked.
New computational methods to explore the rapidly expanding collection of high resolution three-dimensional RNA structures reveal new RNA structural motifs, identifying additional building blocks for complex RNA nanostructures.
RNA CAD tools developed for RNA-regulated control of gene expression in synthetic biology successfully engineered metabolic pathways in bacteria. Will engineering RNA-based genetic control systems lead to design tools for other RNA-based molecular machine systems?
New electron diffraction method for nanotechnology determines nanostrucutres in days instead of yearsFriday, September 23rd, 2011
Automated diffraction tomography provides rapid determination of structure of zeolite to atomic precision.
New computational method screens for small molecules that bind to RNA molecules that move through a variety of conformations.
Protein, RNA, DNA provide very different molecular architectures for nanotechnology to adopt to deliver drugs to cancer cells while sparing healthy cells.
A high-resolution crystal structure of a small square made by self-assembly of RNA molecules reveals each corner of the square to have a unique structure.
RNA nanostructures chemically modified to be resistant to degradation retain 3D structure and biological activity.
Nanotech applications based upon modules of RNA that bind small molecules to control the catalytic activity of other RNA modules may form the basis for a wide variety of synthetic molecular machines.
A developing understanding of non-Watson-Crick interactions places RNA nanotech on a firmer foundation.