A. Gopinath

Scientists recreate Van Gogh’s Starry Night with fluorescent DNA

A miniscule version of Vincent van Gogh’s famous Starry Night has been recreated using folded DNA, according to Gizmodo. Researchers realized they could make a tiny peg board of genetic material that they could then stick other molecules to when working with IBM in 2009—thus, the Van Gogh art-science fusion was born. The art is the same size as the width of a dime and is composed of 65,536 photonic crystal “lamps” filled with fluorescent molecule “lightbulbs,” all carefully stuck to the origami DNA scaffold. The crystals emit light at the wavelength they’re tuned to, allowing scientists to choose the color they glow—here, a deep red. Some glow brighter or dimmer than others; these “hot” and “cold” spots are manipulated to create a pattern, logo, or even a famous painting. Researchers want to use this technology to study nanoscale quantum computing, embed DNA on computer chips, and improve drug delivery.

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