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November 28, 2000

"FOR TINY MOTORS THAT COULD WIDEN USE OF GENETIC CODE from The New York Times"

Portending a possible role for DNA beyond biology, a team of researchers at Bell Laboratories and Oxford University has fashioned molecular-sized motors out of the chemical that stores the genetic code.

The DNA motors resemble tweezers that are so small they could potentially pick up a single atom, with 30 trillion of the devices fitting into a drop of water. The molecular tweezers are opened and closed by other DNA that serves as "fuel."

The development is part of an effort, still in its infancy, to harness DNA as a structural and electronic material that might one day be used to make ultratiny computers or mechanical devices, like a robot that could cruise through the bloodstream to repair an injury.

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