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Phoenix, AZ USA
Registered: Aug 2003
Jigsaw Puzzles out of RNA
The December 17th, 2004 issue of Science had a paper in the "Reports" section by a team of chemists, biochemists, and physicists from UC Santa Barbara and UC San Diego about getting RNA structures to assemble into various tiling patterns.
The authors were
Arkadiusz Chworos, Isil Severcan, Alexey Y. Koyfman, Patrick Weinkam, Emin Oroudjev, Helen G. Hansma, and Luc Jaeger
The paper is entitled "Building Programmable Jigsaw Puzzles with RNA"
The abstract reads -
One challenge in supramolecular chemistry is the design of versatile, self assembling building blocks to attain total control of arrangement of matter at a molecular level. We have achieved reliable prediction and design opf the three dimensional structure of artificial RNA building blocks to generate molecular jigsaw puzzle units called tectosquares. They can be programmed with control over their geometry, topology, directionality, and addressability to algorithmically self assemble into a variety of complex nanoscopic fabrics with predefined periodic and aperiodic patterns and finite dimensions. This work emphasizes the modular and hierarchical characteristics of RNA by showing that small RNA structural motifs can code the precise topology of large molecular archetectures. It demonstrates that fully addressable materials based on RNA can be synthesized and provides insights into self assembly processes involving large populations of RNA molecules.
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