DNA nanocomputer, possible cancer treatment

With the latest in DNA nanotechnology, WillWare writes "Several news sources recently described work by Ehud Shapiro at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. He and his team "have built a tiny biological computer that might be able to diagnose and treat certain types of cancer. The device, which only works in a test-tube, is years from clinical application… it can detect the abnormal messenger RNAs produced by genes involved in certain types of lung and prostate cancer… When the computer senses one of these RNAs it releases an anticancer drug, also made of DNA, which damps expression of the tumour-related gene." Shapiro has posted the PDF of his article in Nature which illustrates that detection of the abnormal RNA is a multi-step process, and that there is some real computation involved. It makes very interesting reading."

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