The building blocks of life just got a little weirder. Natural DNA strands are also a favorite construction tool for nano-engineers because of its tendency for individual strands to automatically bind to one another, snapping into a range of useful shapes, like the famous double helix design. Now scientists at Arizona State University have taken things to the next level and created GNA (that's Glycerol Nucleic Acid). More heat-tolerant and able to twist in ways its natural cousin can't, scientists want to use GNA as a self-assembling scaffold for the nano-robots of the future. No word on the danger of GNA escaping from the lab and spawning a race of killer synthetic, self-assembling aliens. (from EurekAlert, image: TurboSquid)