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Dr. Nadrian C. Seeman (from New York University, Department of Chemistry), "DNA: Not Merely the Secret of Life"

Date: 03/14/13
Time: 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Audience: Public
Sponsored By: School of Science and Engineering
Location: Coykendall Science Building Auditorium
Contact: Dr. Julio Jorge Gonzalez, x3724,

DNA's role as the genetic material of life is known to all. Less well known is that the information contained in DNA can be used to direct the organization of structure on the nanoscale. This field is known as structural DNA nanotechnology. By using branched DNA molecules, we have built DNA objects and topological targets, such as catenanes, knots and Borromean rings. The use of robust branched DNA motifs has enabled us to self-assemble macroscopic crystals that diffract well enough to be amenable to crystallographic characterization. This capability facilitates the organization of other molecular species, from dyes to nanoparticles. By using DNA motifs that can undergo structural isomerization, we can build molecular machines, and have even made a programmable DNA-based assembly line. Recent advances include self-replicating species and the organization of biological fibrils.