Scaling up the complexity and diversity of synthetic molecular structures will require strategies that exploit the inherent stochasticity of molecular systems in a controlled fashion. Here we demonstrate a framework for programming random DNA tilings and show how to control the properties of g... Read the abstract Link to article
Structural DNA nanotechnology methods such as DNA origami allow for the synthesis of highly precise nanometer-scale materials (Rothemund, Nature 440:297-302, 2006; Douglas et al., Nature 459:414-418, 2009). These offer compelling advantages for biomedical applications. Such materials can suffe... Read the abstract Link to article
Designing DNA Nanotube Liquid Crystals as a Weak-Alignment Medium for NMR Structure Determination of Membrane Proteins.
Thirty percent of the human proteome is composed of membrane proteins that can perform a wide range of cellular functions and communications. They represent the core of modern medicine as the targets of about 50 % of all prescription pharmaceuticals. However, elucidating the structure of membr... Read the abstract Link to article
In situ hybridization methods are used across the biological sciences to map mRNA expression within intact specimens. Multiplexed experiments, in which multiple target mRNAs are mapped in a single sample, are essential for studying regulatory interactions, but remain cumbersome in most model o... Read the abstract Link to article
Evolution has often copied and repurposed the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling module. Understanding how connections form during evolution, in disease and across individuals requires knowledge of the basic tenets that govern kinase-substrate interactions. We identify criteria ... Read the abstract Link to article
Many hybrid devices integrate functional molecular or nanoparticle components with microstructures, as exemplified by the nanophotonic devices that couple emitters to optical resonators for potential use in single-molecule detection, precision magnetometry, low threshold lasing and quantum inf... Read the abstract Link to article
Recent advances in fluorescence super-resolution microscopy have allowed subcellular features and synthetic nanostructures down to 10-20 nm in size to be imaged. However, the direct optical observation of individual molecular targets (∼5 nm) in a densely packed biomolecular cluster remains a c... Read the abstract Link to article
Single-molecule RNA detection at depth via hybridization chain reaction and tissue hydrogel embedding and clearing.
Accurate and robust detection of mRNA molecules in thick tissue samples can reveal gene expression patterns in single cells within their native environment. Preserving spatial relationships while accessing the transcriptome of selected cells is a crucial feature for advancing many biological a... Read the abstract Link to article
Northern blots enable detection of a target RNA of interest in a biological sample using standard benchtop equipment. miRNAs are the most challenging targets as they must be detected with a single short nucleic acid probe. With existing approaches, it is cumbersome to perform multiplexed blots... Read the abstract Link to article
Engineered bacterial sensors have potential applications in human health monitoring, environmental chemical detection, and materials biosynthesis. While such bacterial devices have long been engineered to differentiate between combinations of inputs, their potential to process signal timing an... Read the abstract Link to article
In nature, structural specificity in DNA and proteins is encoded differently: In DNA, specificity arises from modular hydrogen bonds in the core of the double helix, whereas in proteins, specificity arises largely from buried hydrophobic packing complemented by irregular peripheral polar inter... Read the abstract Link to article
Artificial lipid-bilayer membranes are valuable tools for the study of membrane structure and dynamics. For applications such as the study of vesicular transport and drug delivery, there is a pressing need for artificial vesicles with controlled size. However, controlling vesicle size and shap... Read the abstract Link to article
An Engineered Kinetic Amplification Mechanism for Single Nucleotide Variant Discrimination by DNA Hybridization Probes.
Even a single-nucleotide difference between the sequences of two otherwise identical biological nucleic acids can have dramatic functional consequences. Here, we use model-guided reaction pathway engineering to quantitatively improve the performance of selective hybridization probes in recogni... Read the abstract Link to article
The field of DNA nanotechnology has harnessed the programmability of DNA base pairing to direct single-stranded DNAs (ssDNAs) to assemble into desired 3D structures. Here, we show the ability to express ssDNAs in Escherichia coli (32-205 nt), which can form structures in vivo or be purified fo... Read the abstract Link to article
Cell-Cell Communication in Yeast Using Auxin Biosynthesis and Auxin Responsive CRISPR Transcription Factors.
An engineering framework for synthetic multicellular systems requires a programmable means of cell-cell communication. Such a communication system would enable complex behaviors, such as pattern formation, division of labor in synthetic microbial communities, and improved modularity in synthet... Read the abstract Link to article
Engineering Transcriptional Regulator Effector Specificity Using Computational Design and In Vitro Rapid Prototyping: Developing a Vanillin Sensor.
The pursuit of circuits and metabolic pathways of increasing complexity and robustness in synthetic biology will require engineering new regulatory tools. Feedback control based on relevant molecules, including toxic intermediates and environmental signals, would enable genetic circuits to rea... Read the abstract Link to article
The invention of the Kalman filter is a crowning achievement of filtering theory-one that has revolutionized technology in countless ways. By dealing effectively with noise, the Kalman filter has enabled various applications in positioning, navigation, control, and telecommunications. In the e... Read the abstract Link to article
Soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complexes are the core molecular machinery of membrane fusion, a fundamental process that drives inter- and intracellular communication and trafficking. One of the questions that remains controversial has been whethe... Read the abstract Link to article
Scalable production of DNA nanostructures remains a substantial obstacle to realizing new applications of DNA nanotechnology. Typical DNA nanostructures comprise hundreds of DNA oligonucleotide strands, where each unique strand requires a separate synthesis step. New design methods that reduce... Read the abstract Link to article
Counting molecules in complexes is challenging, even with super-resolution microscopy. Here, we use the programmable and specific binding of dye-labeled DNA probes to count integer numbers of targets. This method, called quantitative points accumulation in nanoscale topography (qPAINT), works ... Read the abstract Link to article
The creation of nanometre-sized structures that exhibit controllable motions and functions is a critical step towards building nanomachines. Recent developments in the field of DNA nanotechnology have begun to address these goals, demonstrating complex static or dynamic nanostructures made of ... Read the abstract Link to article
DNA nanostructures are versatile templates for low cost, high resolution nanofabrication. However, due to the limited chemical stability of pure DNA structures, their applications in nanofabrication have long been limited to low temperature processes or solution phase reactions. Here, we demon... Read the abstract Link to article
Expanding the CRISPR imaging toolset with Staphylococcus aureus Cas9 for simultaneous imaging of multiple genomic loci.
In order to elucidate the functional organization of the genome, it is vital to directly visualize the interactions between genomic elements in living cells. For this purpose, we engineered the Cas9 protein from Staphylococcus aureus (SaCas9) for the imaging of endogenous genomic loci, which s... Read the abstract Link to article
DNA strand displacement has been widely used for the design of molecular circuits, motors, and sensors in cell-free settings. Recently, it has been shown that this technology can also operate in biological environments, but capabilities remain limited. Here, we look to adapt strand displacemen... Read the abstract Link to article
While complex dynamic biological networks control gene expression in all living organisms, the forward engineering of comparable synthetic networks remains challenging. The current paradigm of characterizing synthetic networks in cells results in lengthy design-build-test cycles, minimal data ... Read the abstract Link to article