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­c Davis Scientists Demonstrate Dna-Based Electromechanical Switch

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The A-form of DNA between two electrodes.

A team of researchers from the University of California, Davis and the University of Washington have demonstrated the conductance of DNA can be modulated by controlling its structure, opening up the possibility of DNAs future use as an electromechanical

Credit: UC Davis News & Information

Researchers from the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) and the University of Washington have demonstrated a method of modulating the conductance of DNA by controlling its structure.

The researchers say their method could open the way for using DNA as an electrochemical switch for nanoscale computing.

"As electronics get smaller they are becoming more difficult and expensive to manufacture, but DNA-based devices could be designed from the bottom-up using directed self-assembly techniques such as 'DNA origami,'" says UC Davis professor Josh Hihath.

DNA origami is a technique for folding DNA to create two- and three-dimensional shapes at the nanoscale level. The method developed by the researchers enables DNA to change its structure in ways that alter its conductance, meaning the DNA could be operated as an electromechanical switch, which would enable DNA to serve as the basis for a new paradigm in computing.

DNA-based computing devices would have potential advantages when being fabricated at the nanoscale level and also could have improved energy efficiency.

The researchers acknowledge a great deal of work still remains to be done to realize such a result, including finding ways to integrate molecular devices onto the same circuit.

From UC Davis News & Information
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