DNA nanodevices hold potential in biomedical imaging

Professor Yamuna Krishnan. DH photo/ Janardhan B K

With a vision to popularise science education and inspire young minds to pursue a career in the field of scientific research, the Infosys Science Foundation organised a lecture by a globally acclaimed scientist Prof Yamuna Krishnan, at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) on Monday.

Delivering the Infosys Prize lecture on the ‘DNA Dram Machines’, Prof Yamuna, a professor of Chemistry at the University of Chicago, elaborated on several unknown functions of the DNA, apart from its role of being the genetic material.

Addressing the crowd of academicians, researchers and students, Prof Yamuna explained about how a DNA can be self-assessed into molecularly precise and well-defined synthetic assemblies on the nanoscale commonly called as the designer DNA nanodevices.

An avid designer of the DNA nanodevices, she also spoke about her unpublished work on the use of the DNA nanodevices and revealed how her discovery of homing signals when attached to such nanodevices can act like guided missiles that ‘seek and report’ about the health of the cells. These designs, according to her, have a great potential in biomedical imaging within living organisms.

Prof Yamuna is the youngest recipient of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar award—the highest science award in India. “Until this innovation, it was not obvious whether such DNA nanodevices could function inside a living cell without being interfered with, or interfering with the cell’s own networks
of DNA control,” she explained.

 

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DNA nanodevices hold potential in biomedical imaging

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