Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetic inspiration could show the way to revolutionize information technology

Date:
July 4, 2010
Source:
University of Reading
Summary:
Chemists in the UK have created a synthetic form of DNA that could transform how digital information is processed and stored.

Chemists at the University of Reading have created a synthetic form of DNA that could transform how digital information is processed and stored.

Related Articles


Just as the information in a book is made up of a linear sequence of letters, so the information needed for all living things to function and reproduce is embodied in a linear sequence of chemical units. These make up the chains of DNA and RNA, where an enormous amount of information (the 'genome') is stored in a very small space to direct the molecular processes of life.

A new paper, which appears in Nature Chemistry on June 27, shows for the first time that many of the features of biological information processing can be reproduced in synthetic polymer chains.

The Reading team, led by Howard Colquhoun, Professor of Materials Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry, has designed and synthesised short sequences of a synthetic, information-bearing polymer.

In the long term, researchers believe this could revolutionise the future of digital information. Synthetic polymer systems could allow information densities several million times higher than current systems.

Crucial to the work is the creation of tweezer-shaped molecules that pick out sequence-information along a polymer chain. The two arms of the tweezer 'feel' the different sequences available and then clamp on to the chain at the precise sequence where the chain structure and tweezer structure are most complementary.

Several tweezer molecules can bind next to one another on the polymer chain, allowing them to 'read' and translate extended, long-range polymer-sequence information. Most notable is that different types of tweezer molecules start reading at different positions on the chain. This selectivity means different types of information can be read from the same sequence which increases the amount of information available.

Professor Colquhoun said: "This type of process is paralleled in the processing of genetic information. In the future, we plan to develop methods for writing new information into the polymer chains with the long-term aim of developing wholly synthetic information technology, working at the molecular level.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Reading. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Zhixue Zhu, Christine J. Cardin, Yu Gan, Howard M. Colquhoun. Sequence-selective assembly of tweezer molecules on linear templates enables frameshift-reading of sequence information. Nature Chemistry, 2010; DOI: 10.1038/nchem.699

Cite This Page:

University of Reading. "Genetic inspiration could show the way to revolutionize information technology." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100629081750.htm>.
University of Reading. (2010, July 4). Genetic inspiration could show the way to revolutionize information technology. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100629081750.htm
University of Reading. "Genetic inspiration could show the way to revolutionize information technology." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100629081750.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How 2014 Shaped The Future Of The Internet

How 2014 Shaped The Future Of The Internet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) It has been a long, busy year for Net Neutrality. The stage is set for an expected landmark FCC decision sometime in 2015. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins