Since DNA Origami was invented by Paul Rothemund at CalTech more than 6 years ago, scientists have been using DNA as construction material, building objects with nanoscale precision, from smiley faces to, most recently, barcodes.
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Recently, researchers at the Wyss Institute have developed a new way of making “barcodes” using fluorescent DNA Origami technology. These barcodes can be modified to attach to and light up specific stuctures inside cells that were previously “in the dark”, so that more intracellular structures can be visualized.
Mutations in dynein lead to neurodegenerative diseases such as Lou Gehrig’s disease and Parkinson’s. To study the movement of dynein, researchers in the lab of Samara Reck-Peterson has used DNA Origami as artificial cargo to help them understand how dynein carries cargo in the cell.
This past year, Peng Yin and colleagues created shapes ranging from smileys to chinese characters using single strands of self-assembling DNA.