sábado, 14 de abril de 2012

Nanotechology with dna.. why not?

DNA molecules have been used to build a variety of nanoscale structures and devices over the past 30 years, and potential applications have begun to emerge. But the development of more advanced structures and applications will require a number of issues to be addressed, the most significant of which are the high cost of DNA and the high error rate of self-assembly. Here we examine the technical challenges in the field of structural DNA nanotechnology and outline some of the promising applications that could be developed if these hurdles can be overcome. In particular, we highlight the potential use of DNA nanostructures in molecular and cellular biophysics, as biomimetic systems, in energy transfer and photonics, and in diagnostics and therapeutics for human health.

There is no overwhelming functional imperative for life to be based on DNA or RNA,' says Phil Holliger from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK, who led the team. 'Other polymers can perform these functions, at least at a basic level.' Holliger's team's xeno-nucleic acid (XNA) polymers each replace DNA's ribofuranose sugar ring with six other cyclic structures that can still form helical chains and base pairings. But rather than using relatively inefficient chemical synthesis, the scientists wanted to exploit polymerase and reverse transcriptase enzymes to copy genetic information from DNA templates to XNAs. In living organisms, polymerases can make RNA from nucleotide monomers using existing DNA strands as templates. Reverse transcriptases can then create a copy of the original DNA strand from that RNA in the same way.

Publisher: Nature Pub. Group : London Country of Publication: England NLM ID: 101283273 Publication Model: Electronic Cited Medium: Interne

No hay comentarios.: