DNA Goes Round in Circles

A simple approach to making rigid DNA nanorings with tailor-made functionality has been developed by Michael Famulok and his team at the University of Bonn, Germany. The development could open up new pathways for the construction of DNA objects with a high level of organization for preparing nanocomposite materials. Famulok's nanorings reveal themselves under the atomic force microscope to be composed of double-stranded DNA with a tiny gap in the form of a short single-stranded fragment. "From the structural point of view, miniature rings represent the simplest form for a rigid object made of DNA," says Famulok. The single-strand gap represents an entry point for functionalizing the nanorings.