How about making your own DNA origami?

Origami is the art of paper folding that has been practiced in Japan since Edo period (1603-1868), and then successfully introduced in the western culture. The goal of this art is to transform a dull piece of paper into sophisticated 3D sculptures by the sequence of folding and sculpting. Likewise Japanese origami, DNA origami is also a way of 3D-structures folding – folding in the nanoscale. In this technique instead of sheet of paper one uses hundreds of short DNA strands to fold a long circular DNA molecule (scaffold) into 3D DNA-based structures. In this post, I will try to convince you that DNA origami technique is nothing to be scared about. Frankly speaking, once you gain some basic knowledge and skills, it might be even easier to fold your fancy sculpture with DNA than using paper (at least if you have enough money and lab-facility to work with 🙂 ).

Designing Nanostructures with RNA

Hello there! It’s Néstor Sampedro writing again from Aarhus, Denmark. I am part of the Andersen lab in which we are designing novel RNA molecules for biotechnological applications. Nanostructures made out of this molecule have the advantage of being produced inside cells by standard biological means. Designing RNAs is challenging but fun, on a previous blog post a cool RNA structure was shown, but how does the design of such structures work, what are the principles behind it? Keep on reading to get a sneak peek into how we use our laptops and pipettes to design RNA origami nanostructures!

Simulating DNA

Things on the nanoscale are, by definition, quite small. This poses a problem in the sense that it can be tricky to get a good look at them. Microscopes can only get you so far; although microscopy techniques are constantly improving it is still much easier (and significantly cheaper) to simulate your design at whatever level of detail you require, especially if you want to see things moving around.