Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

BPoD is 5

In 2017 we celebrate five years of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science

Starring DNA
01 August 2017

Starring DNA

DNA contains delicate genetic information, so it might seem a bit odd that for 10 years or so DNA nanotechnologists have been using it as a building material. DNA origami bends long organic strands of DNA around “staples” (shorter lengths), moulding them into structures for carrying drug particles or recreating works of art. Hang on - What? Yes, this is Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” recreated 500 times smaller by hanging fluorescent molecules on a sort of 'canvas' of DNA – an approach that could create tiny circuit boards in the future. Many DNA origami structures self-assemble, exploiting the natural bends and twists of the DNA sequence to create 'pop-up' particles in a test tube. Recent research is adding new building blocks, proteins, to the mix. The hope is that one day proteins made by living cells could open up DNA origami inside us, perhaps like model ships in bottles.

Written by John Ankers

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More