DNA designs done faster, cheaper

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opednews.com Headlined to H4 5/31/12

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At cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com

The DNA molecule serves as the code of life, but it also serves as handy building material for nanoscale structures -- and newly published research shows how patterns as complex as letters, numbers and smiley faces can be created far more cheaply and quickly than previously thought... The process involves laying out short segments of DNA in a tile-shaped pattern determined by custom-designed chemical bonds. Those single-stranded tiles, in turn, can assemble themselves into larger shapes like Lego blocks, depending on how the bonds attach to one another. Different recipes for mixing the tiles together will produce different shapes... 'Wei and colleagues' findings remind us that we are still just apprentice DNA carpenters, and will embolden others to mix hundreds of DNA strands together against prevailing wisdom,' they wrote. 'The results will probably surprise us.'

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