DNA Cage Match

Jonathan Strickland

Massimo Merlini/iStock/Thinkstock

A few weeks ago, I talked about how nanotechnology could help improve solar panels. I mentioned that scientists took inspiration from structures found in the eyes of moths. When it comes to the world of the very small, nature provides endless examples of what works. And now, I see that some scientists at Harvard have learned how to manipulate DNA so that it self-assembles into cages.

The cages are pretty big by DNA standards and could, in the future, act as a sort of case for anything from doses of medication for cancer treatment to gold nanoparticles for electronics applications. It's a real feat of engineering to build DNA structures like this.

Go check out the article at Harvard for a full rundown on the challenges the team faced and their solutions. Once again, we see how the smallest stuff can be a big deal.