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Placing molecules with atomic precision using scaffolded DNA origami

Foresight Update 28.12—December 16, 2015
ISSN 1078-9731

Nanotech News

Discuss these news stories at http://foresight.org/nanodot.

In this issue:

Rolling DNA-based motors increase nano-walker speeds 1000-fold

We have occasionally cited research in which DNA walkers move molecular components along DNA tracks. A very different approach to DNA motors has succeeded in moving micron-sized glass spheres sporting hundreds of DNA legs at 1000 times the speed of other DNA motors. …

Octopodal nanoparticles combine catalytic, plasmonic functions

More complex nanoparticle structures provide the opportunity to integrate multiple functions, enabling nanotechnology to play a larger role in industrial processes. …

Novel nanoconjugate delivers synergistic combination of microRNAs to treat cancer

Speaking of nanomedicine, nanoparticles, microRNAs, and cancer, another research group, this time at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, has demonstrated the therapeutic potential of using the right nanoconjugate to deliver the right microRNAs to tumors. …

Ultrasensitive microRNA assay with nanosensor to detect cancer

Nanotechnology will increasingly contribute to medicine through the development of increasingly complex, computer-controlled nanorobots (such as these early DNA origami-based prototypes we cited here and here). But even very simple devices exploiting nanoparticle-based molecular interactions are looking very promising. …

Using DNA nanotechnology to position molecules with atomic precision

The powerful and elegant molecular recognition code that makes possible double helical DNA has also made scaffolded DNA origami and its parent field, structural DNA nanotechnology, probably the most widespread and useful approach to bottom-up molecular nanotechnology. The 2-nm diameter of the DNA helix leads to the suspicion, however, that the ultimate precision obtainable with these technologies might not be much better than 5 nm, more than an order of magnitude less precise than atomic precision. A paper published two months ago, however, demonstrates much finer control using a DNA hinge with “adjuster helices” to control the angle of the hinge. …

Single-molecule light-driven nanosubmarine

Recently we noted the accomplishments of James Tour, winner of the 2008 Foresight Institute Feynman Prize in the Experimental category, and his collaborators implementing a nanomaterial incorporating single-atom catalysts. Their most recent accomplishment is a single-molecule nanosubmarine. …

Atomic precision in sculpting 3-D objects

Atomic-level sculpting of a crystalline oxide from a metastable amorphous oxide film has been demonstrated using a scanning transmission electron microscope …

Generating hydrogen with single atom catalysts

James Tour, winner of the 2008 Foresight Institute Feynman Prize in the Experimental category, and his collaborators continue to bring forward a variety of promising applications based upon graphene and other nanostructured materials. Recently we cited a nanotechnology computer memory breakthrough and before that a flexible supercapacitor from stacked nanomaterial. …

—Nanodot posts by James Lewis

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