Monthly Archives: February 2012

DNA Nanobots

Just as a postal worker knows to deliver a package to a specified address, a new type of nanoscale robot can deliver therapeutic cargo specifically to cancer cells (Science, DOI: 10.1126/sci​ence.1214081). The nanobot, made from DNA, could be used for targeted drug delivery, taking molecules to the surface of specific cells.

A robot is something that senses and reacts to its environment, explains George M. Church, the Harvard Medical School professor who devised the DNA nanobot along with colleagues Shawn M. Douglas and Ido Bachelet. The Harvard team’s robot is a hexagonal barrel that can carry a variety of payloads and is held together by two “locks” made from DNA aptamers, which are short oligonucleotide strands that can bind antigen targets.  Rest