Can DNA really replace microchips?

A Duke University engineer proposes that it’s possible to use custom-made DNA to generate self-assembling nanostructures that could be used as a cheap replacement for silicon microchips:

In his latest set of experiments, Chris Dwyer, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, demonstrated that by simply mixing customized snippets of DNA and other molecules, he could create literally billions of identical, tiny, waffle-looking structures…

Dwyer has shown that these nanostructures will efficiently self-assemble, and when different light-sensitive molecules are added to the mixture, the waffles exhibit unique and “programmable” properties that can be readily tapped. Using light to excite these molecules, known as chromophores, he can create simple logic gates, or switches.


via Popular Science 

Image: Chris Dwyer/Duke University