Chemists fold DNA into Möbius strips

Illustration for article titled Chemists fold DNA into Möbius strips

Möbius strips are special loops that only have one continuous side. Now we've built the smallest Möbius strips ever - out of DNA. Here you can see the nanometer-sized DNA loops, folded like origami.

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The ability to create complex structures on the tiniest of scales is one of the great challenges of nanotechnology. In particular, chemists are looking for particular topological structures, or structures that keep their basic properties no matter how much you stretch or twist them. A Möbius strip is a good example of such a structure, because no matter what you do it (short of tearing it, of course), it will always have only one side.

Illustration for article titled Chemists fold DNA into Möbius strips
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Earlier attempts at this sort of nanotechnology DNA folding have been termed DNA origami, but this is actually more accurately DNA kirigami, named for the Japanese art of cutting and folding paper. Here are a few more shots of the DNA Möbius strips above and below.

Illustration for article titled Chemists fold DNA into Möbius strips

[Nature Nanotechnology]

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DISCUSSION

Should not be dangerous, or at least, able to do copies of itself, because the way the copies are done. But still playing with self-replicating material should be done with care... life always find a way.