The DNA biomolecule, responsible in nature for storing hereditary information, is being used increasingly as a component in nanotechnology. One successful approach for producing functional nanostructures from DNA is to insert metal ions into an artificial DNA double helix, which serves as a framework.
"If several metal ions are arranged next to each other in this way," says Prof. Jens Müller from the Institute of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry at WWU, "a molecule is produced which incorporates, so to speak, a one-dimensional wire." Together with researchers from the University of Zurich, his team has now produced an artificial DNA with a razor-thin "wire" inside, demonstrating in the process that the natural structure is preserved.
Prof. Müller's team replaced some of the so-called nucleobases, found inside each DNA spiral, with artificial components. "In the case of the DNA we have created, these artificial components are able to bind extremely tightly to silver ions," says Prof. Müller. "As a result, we have succeeded in arranging three silver ions directly next to each other inside the spiral, like a string of pearls." What's special about the structure of the DNA helix, which was determined in collaboration with researchers at the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Zurich, is the fact that the form of the spiral is hardly changed through the insertion of the metal ions. "Such information about the structure is enormously important for the further development of functionalized DNA," comments Prof. Müller.
Before the artificial DNA can be used in future as a nanowire or nanomagnet - or in analytics, e.g. to ascertain the existence of heavy metals in tap-water - further physical properties must first be examined in detail, now that the structure has been successfully clarified.
Jens Müller has been Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the WWU Münster since 2008. Before that he was a beneficiary of the Emmy Noether Programme for outstanding junior research staff at universities. Since January 2010 he has also been heading a subproject in the Collaborative Research Centre 858 - "Synergistic Effects in Chemistry: From Additivity to Cooperativity".
Reference: Johannsen S. et al. (2010): Solution structure of a DNA double helix with consecutive metal-mediated base pairs; Nature Chemistry, Published online: 17 January 2010 | doi:10.1038/nchem.512
Dr. Christina Heimken | idw
How to become a T follicular helper cell
31.07.2015 | La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology
Heating and cooling with light leads to ultrafast DNA diagnostics
31.07.2015 | University of California - Berkeley
Using ultracold atoms trapped in light crystals, scientists from the MPQ, LMU, and the Weizmann Institute observe a novel state of matter that never thermalizes.
What happens if one mixes cold and hot water? After some initial dynamics, one is left with lukewarm water—the system has thermalized to a new thermal...
Physicists from Regensburg and Marburg, Germany have succeeded in taking a slow-motion movie of speeding electrons in a solid driven by a strong light wave. In the process, they have unraveled a novel quantum phenomenon, which will be reported in the forthcoming edition of Nature.
The advent of ever faster electronics featuring clock rates up to the multiple-gigahertz range has revolutionized our day-to-day life. Researchers and...
Researchers have developed an ultrafast light-emitting device that can flip on and off 90 billion times a second and could form the basis of optical computing.
Joint BioEnergy Institute study identifies bacterial protein that is key to protecting rice against bacterial blight
A bacterial signal that when recognized by rice plants enables the plants to resist a devastating blight disease has been identified by a multi-national team...
Researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin are one step closer to delivering smart windows with a new level of energy efficiency, engineering materials that allow windows to reveal light without transferring heat and, conversely, to block light while allowing heat transmission, as described in two new research papers.
By allowing indoor occupants to more precisely control the energy and sunlight passing through a window, the new materials could significantly reduce costs for...
23.07.2015 | Event News
10.07.2015 | Event News
25.06.2015 | Event News
31.07.2015 | Trade Fair News
31.07.2015 | Transportation and Logistics
31.07.2015 | Physics and Astronomy