DNA does tic-tac-toe, molecular motors work together in nanotechnology

Eoin Clancy writes from the Institute for Nanoscale Science & Technology at University of Newcastle:

Recent paper published in Nano Letters “Medium Scale Integration of Molecular Logic Gates in an Automaton” by Joanne Macdonald et al.

From the abstract:

We now report a second-generation deoxyribozyme-based automaton, MAYA-II, which plays a complete game of tic-tac-toe according to a perfect strategy. In silicon terminology, MAYA-II represents the first “medium-scale integrated molecular circuit”, integrating 128 deoxyribozyme-based logic gates, 32 input DNA molecules, and 8 two-channel fluorescent outputs across 8 wells.

The story is also covered over in yesterday’s New Scientist.

Also, which I thought was even more interesting was another article in the current edition of Nano Letters, “Biotemplated Nanopatterning of Planar Surfaces with Molecular Motors”.

From their conclusion:

Moreover, biotemplated nanopatterning is a promising tool for in vitro studies on the individual and cooperative action of motorproteins as well as for the reconstitution of complex subcellular machineries in synthetic environments.

Quite impressive I thought. —Eoin

Christine comments: The first work was done at Columbia and University of New Mexico; the second by a team from Germany, Poland, and the U.S. It’s important to note that the DNA “computer” is not meant to be used as a computing device per se — it is too slow. The second project reports that their patterned motors “proved to be highly efficient for the guiding of microtubule transporters.” Good to hear these molecular machines are getting some work done! —CP

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