Scientists build DNA tweezers

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Scientists build DNA tweezers

Researchers at Bell Laboratories (Lucent Technologies) have created a tiny engine, likened to a tweezer, from strands of DNA. The arms of the tool, seven nanometers (millionths of a millimeter) long are opened and closed using other DNA “fuel.” The breakthrough adds to the tools at the hands of nanotechnologists who hope to be able to build, one atom at a time, electronic circuits at least a thousand times more powerful than today’s silicon chips.

Scientists have previously created molecular wires, bearings, springs, logic gates, and switches. Dr. Bernard Yurke says, “At the moment, the only things standing in the way of the production of molecular devices with practical applications are the technology to assemble molecular components, which the tweezers should overcome.”

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