Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Weird DNA

Chrispy (Chris P.) is a scientist when he isn't writing horror stories or essaying on Lovecraft. Nanotechnology is incredible - and incredibly hard. Here, scientists have created a single-helix strand of synthesized DNA and folded the strands into a loose geometric shape and held them in place with a few short strands of DNA. By weaving many more short "staple strands" of DNA into the long strand's scaffold, Rothemund bound the DNA into a tight, mazelike pattern.

It is 100 nM wide. One of your hairs is 100,000 nM wide. A red blood cell is 10,000 nM wide.

In comparison, the smiley face on a red blood cell is like a yardstick on a football field.


Fran Friel said...

Ahhh...happy DNA. We could change the world.


Ginger said...

I can't help saying it: Mankind is given such wonderful tools and look what we do with them!! Cell phones, an amazing concept, but we send pictures of our butts to one another with 'em. Now smiley face DNA. Sigh. Just think what we could accomplish if we weren't such jokers.

Then again, we couldn't survive this world without humor. I guess there has to be a happy median.

Chris Perridas said...

I think what defines humans is the ability to tell stories.

I remember an old history book that started out something like: In all ages there are highwaymen and ruffians, and while they are of a unique interest, it is the high points not the low points that we should study.

Isaiah (or maybe Amos) said we should beat our swords into plowshares, and maybe we can tell uplifting stories with our cell phones rather than send locker room pics.