Computer program can translate a free-form 2-D drawing into a DNA structure

Phys.org | January 03, 2019

Researchers at MIT and Arizona State University have designed a computer program that allows users to translate any free-form drawing into a two-dimensional, nanoscale structure made of DNA. Until now, designing such structures has required technical expertise that puts the process out of reach of most people. Using the new program, anyone can create a DNA nanostructure of any shape, for applications in cell biology, photonics, and quantum sensing and computing, among many others. "What this work does is allow anyone to draw literally any 2-D shape and convert it into DNA origami automatically," says Mark Bathe, an associate professor of biological engineering at MIT and the senior author of the study.
The researchers published their findings in the Jan. 4 issue of Science Advances, and the program, called PERDIX, is available online. The lead authors of the paper are Hyungmin Jun, an MIT postdoc, and Fei Zhang, an assistant research professor at Arizona State University. Other authors are MIT research associate Tyson Shepherd, recent MIT Ph.D. recipient Sakul Ratanalert, ASU assistant research scientist Xiaodong Qi, and ASU professor Hao Yan.

Spotlight

Over the last decade, improvements in next generation DNA sequencing technology have transformed the field of genomics, making it an essential tool in modern genetic and clinical research laboratories. The facility to sequence whole genomes or specific genomic regions of interest is delivering new insights into a variety of applications such as human health and disease, metagenomics, antimicrobial resistance, evolutionary biology, and crop breeding. One of the key steps of WGS is the accurate assembly of the vast amount of data generated into a contiguous stretch of DNA sequence. This review provides a background to the DNA assembly process and the associated advantages of long or ultra-long DNA read, as provided by nanopore sequencing technology

Spotlight

Over the last decade, improvements in next generation DNA sequencing technology have transformed the field of genomics, making it an essential tool in modern genetic and clinical research laboratories. The facility to sequence whole genomes or specific genomic regions of interest is delivering new insights into a variety of applications such as human health and disease, metagenomics, antimicrobial resistance, evolutionary biology, and crop breeding. One of the key steps of WGS is the accurate assembly of the vast amount of data generated into a contiguous stretch of DNA sequence. This review provides a background to the DNA assembly process and the associated advantages of long or ultra-long DNA read, as provided by nanopore sequencing technology

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