"And the stars are projectors, yeah, projecting our lives down to this planet Earth." - Modest Mouse
AFP reports that US scientists have created a two-footed molecular robot that uses DNA to walk.
A single strand of DNA, like one side of a zip fastener, provides the track along which the robot moves.
The robot itself looks rather like a geometry compass, with two legs comprising 36 DNA bases.
It gets attached to the walkway thanks to tiny anchor strands of DNA that are introduced into the solution and which bind to the track as well as the undersides of the feet.
To get the robot to move forward, another piece of DNA, called an unset strand, is introduced.
It peels the anchor strand away from the track. This causes the foot to move forward and look for the next mating anchor strand along the line.
Repeating the procedure with the backward foot gets the robot to shuffle along.
"Persuading the walker to ferry a load, such as a metal atom, is the team's next challenge," New Scientist says.
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