The nanoscale train now leaving: Scientists develop system for carrying molecular 'cargo' along DNA tracks
Sunday 10 November 2013
A nanoscale train set powered by microscopic motors and controlled by DNA has been developed by scientists.
The system can construct its own network of tracks spanning tens of micrometres in length, and use them to transport “cargo”. Scientists at Oxford University built their set from DNA and the motor protein kinesin.
The kinesin molecules, that move along micro-tracks made from short strands of DNA, are used as “assemblers” that move elements of track around, or “shuttles” that carry cargo molecules along the tracks.
A natural fuel source called ATP is used to power the system. “DNA is an excellent building block for constructing synthetic molecular systems, as we can programme it to do whatever we need,” said Adam Wollman, who led the Oxford University team.
The experiment used green dye as a cargo, but the same technique could be used to transport other molecules. Spoke-like track systems could be used to speed up chemical reactions by concentrating necessary compounds at the central hub, said the scientists.
Using DNA to control motor proteins could aid the development of sophisticated self-assembling systems for a wide variety of applications.
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo shot dead at war memorial
- 5 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
FCKH8's provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing reinstated by YouTube
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
£45000 per annum: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Datacentre Consultant (Datacentre,...
£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Randstad Education Cardiff is...
£45000 per annum + Excellent Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: .NET Develope...
£40000 - £65000 per annum + bonus + benefits + OT: Ampersand Consulting LLP: C...