Molecular Robotics at the Wyss Institute

Collaborations between nanotechnologists, synthetic biologists, and computer scientists create nanoscale tools that could revolutionize fields from cancer diagnostics to materials science
By Lindsay Brownell

(BOSTON) — DNA has often been compared to an instruction book that contains the information needed for a living organism to function, its genes made up of sequences of the nucleotides A, G, C, and T echoing the way that words are composed of strings of letters. DNA, however, has several advantages over books as an information-carrying medium, one of which is especially profound: based on its nucleotide sequence alone, single-stranded DNA can self-assemble, or bind to a complementary DNA strand, to form a complete double-stranded helix, without human intervention. That would be like printing the instructions for making a book onto loose pieces of paper, putting them into a box with glue and cardboard, and watching them spontaneously come together to create a book with all the pages in the right order.