Latest Issue of Science News


Tiny ticker

Researchers have demonstrated that they can control how frequently a DNA-based nanodevice changes between two forms. Their "nanometronome" is the first example of such control over a single DNA molecule, the team contends.

The device consists of four strands of DNA, which in water assemble into a clover-shape structure. In the presence of magnesium ions, the assembly randomly switches between two stable, X-shaped forms, each with different strands paired into helices. The "ticking" rate between the two forms is mere milliseconds, the team reports.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.