Scientists are using Dna technology to design a miniature DNA control switch that is capable of controlling the flow of Electrons within a single nano molecule. The transportation of charge within the atomic molecule is possible by modifying DNA. Researchers also found new ways of using the new developed DNA technique which can be adapted to be utilized as a probe to analyze reactions in single molecules. This advance in DNA technology opens new possibilities for research in illnesses and renewable energy applications.

Manipulating DNA to control the flow of electrons

ASU-Bio design Institute researcher Nongjian Tao and his team had previously worked on the manipulation of DNA to control the flow of electricity. They discovered that they could operate DNA in varied ways, eventually they made electrons behave as waves, as in quantum mechanics or behave as particles as in a copper wire. All of these discoveries inspired new ways to developed DNA based atomic electronic applications.

The DNA based new technology

The DNA switch comprises a simple modification that includes the connection of only one letter in the DNA double helix with a molecule known as anthraquinone (Aq). This chemical group is a three ringed carbon structure that fits perfectly in between DNA base pairs.

It contains a redox group. Positioned in place, it can switch on and off by sliding through the helix. This permits it to gain or lose electrons

Genetic code nano switch

When the genetic code is placed in between a pair of electrodes, the electrical field is controlled and measured. This achievement was done using a scanning tunnel microscope which serves as the tip of an electrode that can close an electric circuit.

This tip is connected and disconnected from the DNA molecules. The DNA switch can be switch on or off based on its conductance; when it conductance is high, it is on and when the conductance of electrons is low, it´s switched off.

The transport of electrons is possible on Anthraquinone

This is an aromatic organic compound with the following formula; C14H8O2.

9, 10 Anthraquinone is utilized as a digester additive in the creation of paper pulp. It`s a redox catalyst whose reaction mechanism involves single electron transfer. This involves a chemical reaction in which the oxidation states of atoms are changed and involves a reduction (gain of electrons) and an oxidation (loss of electrons) state.

Scientists hope to expand this technique to implement it on DNA electronic nano designs.