Creating a genetic program to crinkle DNA into the perfect shape can appear to be a scientific stunt. But DNA origami is more than a molecular magic trick. In this excerpt from a 2007 TED lecture, Paul Rothemund describes the science behind the work– how a chain– based on its sequence– becomes a two-dimensional shape.
Almost 6 years ago, I attended a conference of scientists and communicators about issues of communicating global warming to the general public. At that point I was still wearing my graduate student hat and was still learning the ropes of science writing. The issues related to global warming and the public were different– this was
You have it, I have it. Many viruses are based on it. It’s RNA, which stands for ribonucleic acid. It’s DNA’s chemical cousin with just a few slight differences. While DNA serves as life’s genetic blueprint. RNA is more of a multitasker. DNA stores information in a kind of vault, and the cell makes RNA-based
Last night I realized how long it’s been since I last folded a paper crane. The documentary, Between the Folds, allows origami to explode into this beautiful world of artistic creations and amazing patterns and complexity driven by algorithms– sequences of mathematical instructions– ranging from simple to astronomically complex. The funny thing is that on
RNA researchers rejoice! It’s been a good week for DNA’s often-underappreciated cousin. Most people are worried about the genetic material that stays safely tucked in the nucleus of cells, but RNA is definitely the genetic workhorse. Without these molecules, our genetic programs would be useless artifacts locked in the cell nucleus like some sort of