Single-stranded tiles (SSTs) made of short strands of interlocking DNA can be programmed to assemble themselves into precisely designed shapes, including letters, numbers, and emoticons. (Source: Wyss Institute at Harvard University)
This is fascinating new technology, Ann. I would imagine one of the applications could be targeting chemotherapy to the cancer instead of having to broadcast it to healthy cells as well as cancerous cells.
Isn't this amazing? Targeted drug delivery is definitely one of the possible apps the researchers have in mind, and if that could be done for chemotherapy it would make a lot of people healthier and happier.
Thanks williamlweaver, glad you liked the article. Self-assembled devices is becoming quite an an active area of research. I have read Crichton's PREY: pretty scary stuff, in fact I found it his scariest so far because it's so believable, perhaps even inevitable. Thanks for the link to your swarms article--another area of research that's getting a lot of play, especially in robotics.
NASA and Boeing developed a huge, carbon composite cryogenic fuel tank for deep space missions, and started testing it last month. The 18-ft cryotank will enable heavy-lift launch vehicles to send both humans and robots into deep space.
German engineering firm EDAG Group showed a single-piece, 3D-printed car body design inspired by a turtle at the Geneva Motor Show. It came about after an assessment of how additive manufacturing could be applied to making industrial components, modules, and complete vehicle bodies.
Some of the biggest self-assembled building blocks and structures made from engineered DNA have been developed by researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute. The largest, a hexagonal prism, is one-tenth the size of an average bacterium.
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