Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Future is Now, Vol. LXV

The three key components required for scifi level gene manipulation:
  1. High speed gene sequencer, check.
  2. In vivo gene transfer methodology, coming.
  3. DNA fabricator, check.
The goal of being able to program biochemical reactions as precisely and easily as computers crunch numbers and process words has moved a giant step closer.
A group at the California Institute of Technology, led by biomolecular engineer Niles Pierce, has created a DNA-based fabricator.
This is a system that allows the team to specify a piece of DNA with a desired shape and function, and then execute a molecular program to assemble it in a test tube. As an example, they used their system to construct a piece of DNA that walks along another strip of DNA.

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