DNA Technology: Harnessing Life's
report examines the current state of DNA technology, organizes key
issues and puts them in context, and succinctly explains how the
Researchers recognized more than a decade ago that DNA's
flexible format -- four bases that can be sequenced to form many
different combinations -- makes it an extremely versatile molecule
that could be bent to various technical ends. In recent years scientists
have advanced the prospects of tapping DNA to carry out DNA computing
and mechanical assembly.
Taking short stretches of artificially-constructed DNA through
various connections and disconnections makes it possible to carry
out computations, including the boolean logic of silicon computers.
Researchers are also tapping this connection ability to
coax DNA to assemble into three-dimensional structures. Specific
stretches of DNA can also be engineered to bind to various materials,
including tiny metal spheres, before self-assembling. This allows
DNA to be used to assemble nanoscale machines and materials atom
The report includes an executive summary, a list of 18 developments
to look for as these cutting-edge technologies take shape, and a
section of 20 researchers to watch, including links to their Web
pages. It also includes a quick tour of 38 recent developments and
a section of 32 in-depth news stories from TRN.
The main report is organized into the following sections:
biology becomes technology, sticky ends and dna tiles, computer
in a test tube, readout, storage, automatons, champion of self-assembly,
molecular machinery, in the grasp, molecular motors, nanotubes and
nanoparticles, waffles, tubes, trees and pyramids, nanowire maker,
DNA in bulk, the biochemical future.
The in-depth news stories are organized into the following
categories: computing, machines, assembly, structures, electronics
Making the Future reports contain live links, and can
be read on a computer, printed and archived.
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How It Works:
stories, including 16 images
Table of Contents:
Sticky ends and DNA tiles
Computer in a test tube
Champion of self-assembly
In the grasp
Nanotubes and nanoparticles
Waffles, tubes, trees and pyramids
DNA in bulk
The biochemical future
How It Works
Sticky ends, branches and tiles
In-Depth Story Categories
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View a four-page sample of the Making
the Future report (pdf).