A new study in the field of DNA has shown that DNA strands can be forced to to fold into shapes in minutes rather than days as previously believed. This is a huge advancement for the general field dedicated to this, known as DNA origami. The end result of all of this effort is to make nanoscale machines. However, so far only simple forms have been able to be made such as boxes and triangles. IN addition the items that were made took extensive time and proved to be laborious and time consuming.
The overall technique involves taking longer folded strands of DNA and holding them together using short strands of DNA. The little short strands function like little pieces of tape. Previously this process was done by heating up DNA and allowing it to cool slowly for times that could take as long as a week. However, that time has now been reduced to minutes by Hendrik Dietz and his colleagues at the Technical University of Munich in Germany. Hendrik and his fellow biophysicists strained the DNA with fluorescent dye and watched the interactions as it folded throughout the cooling process. In doing so they would stop the process and check how far the process had gone.