If snowflakes could talk

less than 1 minute read

Cool thing of the week: Little tiles of DNA, programmed by sequence to bind themselves into letters, numbers and other text-messaging necessities: “DNA drawing with an old twist”.

In their simplest configuration, the tiles produce a solid 64-by-103-nanometre rectangle, but Wei and his team can create more complex shapes by leaving out specific tiles. Using this strategy, they created 107 two-dimensional shapes, including letters, numbers, Chinese characters, geometric shapes and symbols. They also produced tubes and rectangles of different sizes, including one consisting of more than 1,000 tiles. Their work is published today in Nature.

In a sense, they are self-limiting crystals.