Changing the shape of soft matter using circuits made from DNA.
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The myriad of processes occurring in biological cells may seem unbelievably complex at first glance. Yet, in principle, they are merely a logical succession of events, and could even be used to form digital circuits.
Researchers have now developed a molecular switching circuit made of DNA, which can be used to mechanically alter gels, depending on the pH. DNA-based switching circuits could have applications in soft robotics, say the researchers in their article in Angewandte Chemie.
DNA is a long molecule that can be folded and twisted in various ways. It is comprise of a backbone with bases that stick outward in order to pair up with their counterparts in other DNA strands. When a series of these matching pairs comes together, they form a twisted, ladder-like double strand — the familiar DNA double