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After the DNA had assembled, the Technion team replaced the counterions with silver ions so that the DNA could then be used as a seed to grow a thin metallic wire.

one can use the intrinsic conductance properties of DNA for single-molecule electronics,
Erez Braun, Uri Sivan and co-workers at the Technion have suggested an entirely different approach to DNA electronics
by exploiting the molecule’s assembly properties.
First they added “sticky ends” to the ends of the DNA – small pieces of single-strand DNA that can bind to “complementary” bases of other sticky ends.
Next they attached sticky ends to two metal electrodes so that a single DNA molecule would bridge the gap between the electrodes.
The sequence of these single-strand pieces ensured that the binding was highly selective: only those fragments with the matching genetic code coupled to the electrode.
After the DNA had assembled, the Technion team replaced the counterions with silver ions so that the DNA could then be used as a seed to grow a thin metallic wire.
In this approach, the DNA acts as a linear template for conducting metallic wires. Continue reading

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