The world's smallest copy of "Mona Lisa" collected from DNA

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have developed a technique for manipulating DNA molecules to assemble arbitrary structures from them. And as an example, they created the world's smallest copy of the famous painting by Da Vinci. It has a mosaic structure and consists of 64 separate fragments, which are obtained using the "DNA origami" method.

DNA origami technology was developed in 2006. It is based on the property of nucleotides, small molecules A, T, C and G, which are strung on a long strand of DNA macromolecule, to connect together in a strictly defined order. And if you "play" with their location on the thread, then you can then roll it into a ball or form another stable structure, in contrast to the classical double-stranded DNA helix.

A group of scientists led by Grigory Tikhomirov has developed a "fractal assembly" technology based on DNA origami. Initially, in separate test tubes, many "squares" are synthesized from the folded DNA molecules. And then they are laid out on the substrate in a given order, forming a pattern. It sounds simple, but in reality, scientists have solved the most difficult task of minimizing the cost of synthesizing and manipulating individual DNA.

The method of Tikhomirov's group has another advantage - it is easy to scale pictures from DNA. The range of basic "squares" is small, but this is what made the process of "drawing" relatively cheap and affordable. An online tool is already ready that will enable other scientists to draw up their own diagrams for subsequent drawing on them using DNA. So far, nothing is known about the practical application of the technology.