Designer Curvature

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Science  07 Aug 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5941, pp. 685-686
DOI: 10.1126/science.1178328

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Biological systems create marvelous devices with nanometer-scale dimensions and precisely controlled threedimensional (3D) architectures. Scientists have long dreamed of creating artificial nanostructures that mimic nature's elegance. One example is DNA nanotechnology (1), which uses DNA as a molecular engineering material to create nanostructures with controlled geometries, topologies, and periodicities and to organize matter with nanometer precision. On page 725 of this issue, Dietz et al. (2) report an elegant strategy for transforming 3D DNA nanostructures into complex geometric shapes with systematically controlled curvatures. It is as if DNA has been subjected to the practice of yoga to display a variety of difficult postures at the nanoscale.