Health And Medicine

Programming Language Developed to Build Synthetic DNA

It will soon turn out that cryptography are not only meant for computer programmers as chemists could be on their way to do the same, too - but only with an intention to build synthetic DNA and program how the DNA molecules interact within a cell.

It will soon turn out that cryptography is not only meant for computer programmers as chemists could be on their way to do the same, too – but only with an intention to build synthetic DNA and program how the DNA molecules interact within a cell.

This programming language for chemistry was developed by engineers at the University of Washington with an impression to design a network that could guide the behavior of chemical reaction taking place inside the cell in the same way we handle guide cars or robots.

Programmable Chemistry
An artist’s concept of DNA structures and a chemical reaction “program” on the screen. | Credit: Yan Liang, L2XY2.com

Chemists all over the world still use a century-old language of chemical equations to figure out how the mixtures of chemical behave and how the reactions occur, but the engineers at the UW take a step further and  use it to program the movement of synthesized molecules.

“We start from an abstract, mathematical description of a chemical system, and then use DNA to build the molecules that realize the desired dynamics,” said Georg Seelig, a UW assistant professor of electrical engineering and of computer science and engineering.”

They believe this synthetic system could lead to applications such as smart therapeutics or fabrication methods based on self-organization.

This was first published in this week edition of Nature Nanotechnology.

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