Nucleic acid nanotechnology invades synthetic biology

by Ben Shirt-Ediss

16:00 (40 min) in USB G.003

Synthetic biology has traditionally programmed cells with new behaviours by inserting genetic programs as DNA sequences on engineered plasmids. However, away from the DNA-RNA-protein central dogma, it has been realised that nucleic acids by themselves have dynamic self-assembly properties which can be exploited to make reaction circuits and nano scale geometrical structures.

The rapidly expanding field of Nucleic Acid Nanotechnology presents an exciting new way to engineer functional bio-compatible chemical systems both in-vitro and, tantalisingly, in-vivo. In this talk, I will attempt to give a fleeting overview of the Nucleic Acid Nanotechnology field and its influence on Synthetic Biology. Along the way, I will touch on two Nucleic Acid Nanotechnology related projects currently under way in ICOS.