Wednesday, 13 July 2016

UCNC day 3

UCNC day 3. Well, only half a day, as the afternoon was reserved for exploring Manchester.

We started with a super invited tutorial on “Self-Assembling Adaptive Structures with DNA”, by Rebecca Schulman. Rather than trying to assemble arbitrary structures, let’s just look at what can be done with 1D systems: filaments of DNA nanotubes than can controllably be built into strings, trees, and network structures. She pointed out that it doesn’t make sense to build every structure from weaving pure DNA: a human-size object would need about 3 light years of it. But smaller things can sensibly be built this way. This approach doesn’t include only static structures: movement can be achieved by growing at the front and dissolving at the back. This is the way the cytoskeleton in cells works to move them around. DNA nanotube growth can be controlled by a variety of chemical processes, but it’s hard to design different systems: there’s no good enough model or simulation of how it all works.  Currently things are a mixture of approximate yet expensive simulations, and lab experiments. But this is clearly a very powerful and rich area.

This was followed by the technical session: three talks related to DNA computing. The first was implementing a circuit model in a 2D gellular automaton. Next was another gellular automaton system: a maze solver. We finished the morning with a description of implementing a stack (the push-pop data structure) in DNA: the design is fascinating, and it has been implemented, at least for stack sizes of three. Again, this work is just a hint of things to come.

Then off to explore the wilds of Manchester…

No comments:

Post a Comment