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DNA is at the core of human life but what if DNA could also be manipulated to serve new purposes? Come play with DNA and our speakers from McGill University chemistry department!
Targeting cancer cells with DNA nanocubes
Aurélie Lacroix (PhD Candidate - Department of Chemistry at McGill University)
In recent years, DNA has not only attracted biologists as the molecule that stores genetic information, but also chemists, as an extraordinary material to build very small objects. Playing with sequences, we can now assemble all kind of shapes. I’ll explain how we form DNA cubes to use them for medicine. In particular, I work on the design of cubes that can stick to proteins in the blood to be transported, circulate and find cancer cells to destroy them specifically.
Thinking beyond the double helix: Coaxing DNA into a new structure
Nicole Avakyan (PhD Candidate - Department of Chemistry at McGill University)
The DNA double helix is probably the most famous structure in biology. Its formation relies on the 4-letter DNA alphabet (A, T, G and C), which predictably brings together two separate strands into one structure. But what if we changed the rules? An inexpensive small molecule, cyanuric acid, which is also used to keep your pool germ-free, can coax DNA strands into forming a triple helix instead! This structure further assembles into nanofibers, a material with potential applications in nanotechnology.