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filosoful OP t1_j4x9jfm wrote

Using a technique called “DNA origami,” researchers created traps that encase large viruses—such as SARS-CoV-2, influenza A, and Zika—in hopes of preventing them from infecting cells.

A study published today (18 January) in Cell Reports Physical Science details how researchers used DNA origami to engineer strands of genetic material into Lego-like structures that form a cage around large pathogens.

While the study only looked at how effectively the structures bound to viruses in vitro, the traps could one day help clear viruses from the body.


carbonqubit t1_j4xql8j wrote

It looks like one obstacle was piecing them together in high salt environments because they tended to fall apart when placed in ones that mimic biological concentrations. The neat workaround was using UV light to fortify the bonds, which made them resilient to degradation.


jojomaniacal t1_j4xui8a wrote

That's pretty interesting, UV tends to cause radicals on DNA, were these addition of radicals what allowed additional bonds to be made or do they have some other mechanism to explain it?


carbonqubit t1_j4xzyjn wrote

It looks like they used UV light with a wavelength of 310 nm to directly cross-link thymidine bases. Nearby pyrimidines are converted to cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers, which then pair with the free thyminde bases to build the cone shaped nanostructures.


jojomaniacal t1_j4y8lfm wrote

Oh wow that's much more targeted and sophisticated than I was thinking. Origami really fits for what they did there.