Building Gold Crystals... with DNA?

Researchers at Northwestern University have recently been able to create 3D structures from particles of gold by using DNA. How exactly? The technique involves getting incredibly small particles to self-assemble to a predetermined design. DNA is made up of four basic building blocks - adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine (A, G, C, and T), and one strand of DNA can bind with a complementary strand. By using different DNA strands and modifying these strands with gold particles, new nano nuggets of gold of different shapes and sizes can be created.

This process could be used with other materials, with wide applications in therapeutics, diagnostics, optics, and electronics. Scientists are a step closer to the dream of breaking everything down into simple particles and reassembling them into "designer" structures.

Source: DNA does the work: Building new gold crystals

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