Crystalline DNA

Ned Seeman, from New York University and colleagues have succeeded in creating triangles of DNA that self-assemble into macroscopic crystals. The team, which was originally looking for a way to crystallize proteins and other biological molecules, hopes they can extend the technique to structure determination in drug design and molecular electronics. The crystals are made up of sub-units called DNA tensegrity triangles, which consist of three DNA helices formed into a triangle. "Not only can we get this one motif in sequence to self-assemble, but there are eight other crystals that we report in the paper," says Seeman.