Duke Hosts NanoBio Meeting

Non-scientists interested in the emerging field of nanotechnology are invited to hear from experts Friday on the Duke University campus in Durham during a one-day symposium about using DNA to build structures and machinery measuring mere millionths -- or even billionths -- of a meter.

Speakers will include Nadrian (Ned) Seeman of New York University, who is considered the father of the field of structural DNA nanotechnology. Others will include the inventors of two chemical variants that mimic natural DNA structures. Also speaking will be the directors of two Danish academic centers. The Danish National Research Foundation is funding the conference.

Two American members of the Center for DNA Nanotechnology at Denmark's Aarhus University, Thom LaBean of Duke and Hao Yan of Arizona State University, are holding the event to increase public awareness.

The field has, for instance, developed ways to combine DNA molecules into the equivalent of Lego blocks. Scientists are also learning to fold the molecules into origami-like shapes. Manipulating such small-scale particles produces all-new characteristics that open new opportunities for beneficial applications, such as development of disease-targeted and/or individualized human therapeutics.

The symposium will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. in Auditorium 109 of Duke's Bryan Research Building. 

Mon, 03/16/2009 - 04:00