Biocurious is a weblog about biology, quantified.

DNA Pyramids

by Andre on 17 January 2006

I talked about doing this with a colleague a while ago and it seems we weren’t the only ones thinking about it.

People have sugested using DNA as an advanced nano-material for a long time, but it seems like it hasn’t had the impact some people were predicting. I think this (along with the great work of Ned Seeman) is a step in the right direction.

One unfortunate comment in the Physics Web article though:

These compression tests also allowed the Anglo-Dutch team to measure the elastic properties of DNA for the first time.


As you may have read on here, Phil uses DNA as a calibration molecule because its elasticity has been studied so well.



  1. MT    4230 days ago    #
    If DNA doesn’t make an advanced nano material, it looks at least like you’ll be able to tie it into hats and animals and things to entertain kids at birthday parties.
  2. PhilipJ    4230 days ago    #
    While there are certainly a few mysteries left when it comes to the DNA elasticity (at least one anyway: what exactly happens when you hit the first-order structural phase transition and start overstreching?), I don’t know how to enterpret their “first time!” claim either. People have certainly been looking at the extensibility of DNA for a long time now, and if the simply mean the elastic properties of these structures as a function of size, well, that somehow seems alittle more pedestrian. But I don’t have a Science paper under my belt yet, so maybe I’m missing something.
  3. MT    4229 days ago    #
    “I don’t know how to enterpret their ‘first time!’ claim either. ”

    It was claimed by the news story, not the technical article, right? So I interpret as “journalist intern.” If it was in the article, then I interpret it as “physicists and phys rev peer review, which only involves other physicists”
  4. Uncle Al    4229 days ago    #
    Two words: electroless plating.

    There are few things nicer than resonant metallic cavities – especially if you can array them and pattern print on 2-D surfaces or into 3-D volumes. Huge internal surface areas of metal and alloy crystal edges and vertices scream “catalysis.” If it sorbs hydrogen you can mount that grant funding donkey.
  5. Andre    4229 days ago    #
    Something like a combination of this and this ?

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