Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • News & Views
  • Published:

Playing to win at DNA computation

An automaton built with DNA enzymes plays tic-tac-toe against human players.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Representative game board and computational deoxyribozymes.

©Rebecca Henretta

Figure 2: Signal tranduction pathway via protein or nucleic acid.

©Rebecca Henretta


  1. Adleman, L.M. Science 266, 1021–1024 (1994).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Lipton, R.J. Science 268, 542–545 (1995).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Adleman, L.M., Rothemund, P.W., Roweis, S. & Winfree, E. J. Comput. Biol. 6, 53–63 (1999).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Cox, J.C., Cohen, D.S. & Ellington, A.D. Trends Biotechnol. 17, 151–154 (1999).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Stojanovic, M.N. & Stefanovic, D. Nat. Biotechnol. 21, 1069–1074 (2003).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Breaker, R.R. & Joyce, G.F. Chem. Biol. 2, 655–660 (1995).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Stojanovic, M.N., Mitchell, T.E. & Stefanovic, D. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 124, 3555–3561 (2002).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Atkinson, M.R., Savageau, M.A., Myers, J.T. & Ninfa, A.J. Cell 113, 597–607 (2003).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Guet, C.C., Elowitz, M.B., Hsing, W. & Leibler, S. Science 296, 1466–1470 (2002).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Yokobayashi, Y., Weiss, R. & Arnold, F.H. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 99, 16587–16591 (2002).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Koizumi, M., Soukup, G.A., Kerr, J.N. & Breaker, R.R. Nat. Struct. Biol. 6, 1062–1071 (1999).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Robertson, M.P. & Ellington, A.D. Nat. Biotechnol. 19, 650–655 (2001).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Tabor, J., Ellington, A. Playing to win at DNA computation. Nat Biotechnol 21, 1013–1015 (2003).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing