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Volume 552 Issue 7683, 7 December 2017

The cover shows a representation of the Mona Lisa on a 8,704-pixel canvas, created by the self-assembly of DNA. The use of such two-dimensional DNA nanostructures to produce surface patterns with nanometre precision is not new, but their size has until now been limited to around 0.05 square micrometres — too small for many potential applications. In this issue, Lulu Qian and her colleagues reveal that when applying simple assembly rules recursively throughout a multi-stage process, a small set of unique DNA strands can be used to create 2D arrays of up to 0.5 âμm2. In similar work, the size of 3D DNA nanostructures has been boosted: Peng Yin and his colleagues use a new generation of DNA bricks to form nanostructures of more than 10,000 components that can be sculpted into objects such as letters and a teddy bear; and Hendrik Dietz and his colleagues show that large objects can be efficiently assembled in a multi-stage process when using DNA building blocks with optimized shape and interaction patterns. The Dietz team also demonstrates a scalable, cost-efficient method for making the required DNA strands. A News & Views by Fei Zhang and Hao Yan puts these developments into context. Cover image: Grigory Tikhomirov, Philip Petersen & Lulu Qian/Caltech


News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Inhibiting the protein PD-1 can activate T cells that trigger immune responses against tumour cells. But it emerges that, in mice, this immunotherapy exacerbates a cancer that involves the T cells themselves. See Letter p.121

    • Aya Ludin
    • Leonard I. Zon


  • Article |

    Stabilization of a transient protein kinase–substrate complex using a nanobody provides molecular details about how the Parkinson’s disease-linked protein kinase PINK1 phosphorylates ubiquitin, and suggests new pharmacological strategies.

    • Alexander F. Schubert
    • Christina Gladkova
    • David Komander
  • Article |

    A 22-nucleotide fragment of a transfer RNA regulates translation by binding to the mRNA of a ribosomal protein and increasing its expression, and downregulation of the fragment in patient-derived liver tumour cells reduces tumour growth in mice.

    • Hak Kyun Kim
    • Gabriele Fuchs
    • Mark A. Kay


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