Lookin' at DNA Nanostructures

Many DNA nanostructures have been constructed by scientists for many different kinds of applications, such as drug delivery, medical diagnosis, and DNA-based computers. But in order to be successful in designing these nanostructures, we must first find out what exactly the 3D structure of DNA looks like!

But how can we look at the structure DNA helix? It's so small! Well, scientists have built powerful microscopes to try and visualize DNA. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a powerful technique but does not visualize in 3D very well. Another powerful tool that has been built is called the electron cryomicroscopy (cryoEM).

CryoEM can be used to look at the structure of a 7 nm self-assembled DNA tetrahedron, which is an incredible achievenment for scientists. Never before has such a small biological molecule been looked at with such high resolution!

Source: Nano Letters

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