"DNA-BALLS", a hypothetical question

Tom Schneider toms at fcs260c2.ncifcrf.gov
Wed Oct 23 12:06:04 EST 1991


In article <9110221250.AA08730 at genbank.bio.net> cliff at WATSON.IBM.COM
("Cliff Pickover") writes:
>"DNA-BALLS", a hypothetical question
>
>Bucky balls (Carbon-60 cages) have been quite prominently mentioned
>in the news in the last few years.
>
>As probably most of you know, this example of a chemical polyhedron has
>60 carbon atoms that are arranged at the vertices of a truncated
>icosahedron, a soccer-ball form popularized by Buckminster Fuller for
>use in geodesic domes.  C-60 should make a good lubricant, because its
>cage-like structure is very stable and slow to react with other
>substances.  Some scientists have predicted that the substance should
>make a good catalyst, or lead to a whole new class of batteries.
>

>Like Bucky Balls, "DNA-BALLS" are cage-like structures, where the cage
>consists primarily of sugars and phosphates, while the nucleotides point
>out away from the sugar-phosphate polyhedron.  If DNA-BALLS could really
>be chemically constructed, can you think of any potential use for them?

Ned Seeman is constructing DNA cubes and things like that.  The idea is to hang
the components of a molecular computer off of the strands.  Sorry, I only have
this old reference:

@article{Robinson1987,
author = "B. H. Robinson
 and N. C. Seeman",
title = "The design of a biochip:
a self-assembling molecular-scale memory device",
journal = "Protein Engineering",
volume = "1",
pages = "295-300",
year = "1987"}

  Tom Schneider
  National Cancer Institute
  Laboratory of Mathematical Biology
  Frederick, Maryland  21702-1201
  toms at ncifcrf.gov



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