Feeds

DNA-based nanobot takes a stroll

A great step forward

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Asimov would have been so proud: New York scientists have created a walking robot, just 10 nanometres long and made out of DNA. Alright, it needs a path made of DNA to walk along, but this is still amazing stuff.

The researchers are taking advantage of DNA chains' propensity to pair up. The legs are made of two strands wrapped together in a double helix, but at the end of each leg, there is a single strand they call a foot. By detatching and reattaching themselves to the footpath, the legs can move along.

The breakthrough has been hailed as a great step forward. Presumably the pun was intended.

In an interview with BBC Online Professor Nadrian Seeman of New York University said: "What we've done is to build a sidewalk to accommodate one step and we've demonstrated quantitatively that [the robot] can take a second step".

Most of the DNA path will not be compatible with the single-stranded foot, so by carefully ordering the sequence of base pairs in the DNA path, they are able to determine where each 'foot' would attach. Another strand tells the foot to let go, allowing the robot to take its step. ®

Related links

The full story is in New Scientist here.

Related stories

US puts on pair of robotrousers
Japanese unveil trumpet-playing robot
Humans struggle for supremacy in online robot wars

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.