Biochemists took a big step towards the creation of DNA computers

© Illustration RIA Novosti . Alina Palaniappan design can become part of the DNA transistor the futureBiochemists took a big step towards the creation of DNA computers© Illustration RIA Novosti . Alina Polyanina

. American biochemists have learned to weave the strands of DNA in a kind of «bunching» that can be used as basic elements for biological computers of the future, according to a paper published in the journal Science.

«Typically, today’s computing systems based on DNA in the solution, not assembled and as a set of disparate molecules that store information and freely floating in solution. We were able to make the next step is to bind all the DNA strands together and turn them into a physical machine,» says Ke Yong gang (Yonggang Ke) from Emory University in Atlanta (USA).

Today, in most experiments with nano-machines on the basis of DNA used for special class methods of their Assembly, which in the scientific community known under the collective name of «DNA origami». In this technique, the basis for any details BioMarin is a long single chain of DNA that is woven into the desired three-dimensional object by means of the short «stud» of a few nucleotides — the building blocks of DNA.

In recent years, biochemists have made dozens of different machines from short strands of DNA, including the tongs system of drug delivery to certain cells of the body and even primitive robots of»transformers» and the simplest computers. Further development of DNA origami has not moved for several reasons – the complex structure of strands of DNA to collect is very difficult, and even more difficult to manage and change their structure.

Ke and his colleagues have found a way to solve this problem by learning how to combine strands of DNA into structures similar in form to the doors-«bunching» of buses or, as expressed by themselves biochemists, fur akkordion. Each segment of such DNA»doors» consists of several crossed filaments, the position of which in space depends on how the neighboring blocks.

Because of this like DNA origami maintain stability and shape even if their attached to some other molecule or a solid surface, and thus they remain mobile and capable of compression and «straightening».

Accordingly, by combining several of these «accordions» of different shapes and sizes, you can create complex structures that respond to external stimuli and operating on the same principles as the transistors in conventional computers. The main difference will be that the «carrier» of the information here will be not electrons, and short single DNA strands join special sites on the surface of the origami and forcing them to change their shape.

In addition biocomputers, these same «bunching», as told by Ke, can be used to create a full-fledged nano-machines composed of many moving parts interacting. Both, as scientists hope, will help to make machines more useful and practical than they are today.