In a recent development in the field of nanotechnology, University of Portsmouth researchers have created an electronic switch based on DNA which is being regarded as world’s first bio-nanotechnology breakthrough that offers the foundation for interface between living organisms and the world of computer. Called as nanoactuator or molecular dynamo, one cannot see this device as it is one thousandth of the human hair strand therefore it is invisible to the human eye. Dr Keith Firman, British Molecular Biotechnology expert worked with European researchers for creating the DNA switch. Realizing the importance of this development, the team has been given a €2 million European Commission grant for developing the path breaking technology. As of now it can be used for detection of toxins and also applied in bio defence as a biological sensor for detecting airborne pathogens.
Have you heard about Biomimetics? This is a well researched area of materials science dealing with the science of copying or improving upon things found in nature. A very common example of Biomimetics is synthetic versus natural rubber. Another advanced example of Biomimetics is development of materials which can be used within the human body and these are inert materials which can be incorporated in natural tissues resulting in any adverse reaction. Now a number of developments in the field of biomimetics are utilizing nanotechnology for producing molecular level changes to materials for mimicking naturally found materials. This field is being used for encouraging bone regeneration and interaction with human implants and orthopaedic implants and it has been found out that better results can be achieved with smaller sized particles. Using nanotechnology researchers have already been able to successfully mimic molecular transport systems within the body for building nanosized machines which can move particles.
In one of the most amazing development in the field of science researchers have developed an inexpensive and quick method for extraction of single DNA molecule and positioning them in nanoscale slits. The technique is being labeled as simple and scalable and this can result in a faster sequencing technology in lab and in the future might also help in underpinning the ability of clinicians for obtaining customized DNA profiles fo patients. The team responsible for this fabricated a mold for the creation of rubber template with slits narrow enough for confining single strands of elongated DNA. This technique is similar to threading of microscopic needle with DNA thread. This will help the researchers in creation of large number of individual DNA molecules accessible for study and the lining of the molecules for sequencing and analysis is expected to become further accessible to the world of science.