Cancer patients may have a new tool in fighting their disease: programmable nanorobots made out of DNA. The robots, created by researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, work like the body’s natural white blood cells. The nanorobots are constructed by folding strands of DNA together. Shaped like a barrel, they contain molecules with encoded instructions; when they encounter specific cell-surface proteins, the latches that keep the robot closed open and deliver the payload. Ultimately they could be programmed to search out cancer cells and transmit a signal to them to self-destruct.
MORE: Health Special: Cancer