Reports suggest that ‘scientists have found a way to “switch” the structure of DNA using copper salts and an agent commonly found in shampoo and other household products that can pave the way of building cheap computers in the near future’. Nanotechnology suggests that the structure of a piece of DNA can be changed using acid that causes it to fold in an ‘i-motif’.
Researchers used copper salts and EDTA to achieve new structures, at the University of East Anglia. Lead researcher Zoe Waller said, “Our research shows how the structure of our genetic material – DNA – can be changed and used in a way we did not realize”. The study showed that it was possible to switch the structure twice which up till now was believed could only possibly switch only a single time.
Researchers in nanotechnology are using DNA to make tiny machines to build DNA based computing, computers. A potential application of this could be to create logic gates for DNA based computing. ‘Logic gates arean elementary building block of digital circuits – used in computers and other electronic equipment.’
It is believed that the research can help expand the use of DNA as a switching mechanism for a logic gate in DNA-based computing.