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Researchers Find Potential Use of DNA Strands as Computer Wiring

April 01, 1999

Strands of DNA might someday be used as wires in computer chips and transistors, researchers suggest in today's Nature. Hans-Werner Fink and Christian Schoenenberger of the University of Basel in Switzerland found that DNA conducts electricity as well as a good semiconductor.

If DNA strands could be made with a switch to turn the current flowing through them on and off, they could be used to build extremely tiny electrical devices, the researchers said. Fink said he knows of no metallic wires that can be made as small or as regular as DNA strands. A strand is 2 billionths of a meter thick, or one-forty-four-thousandth of the diameter of a medium-size human hair.

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Compiled by Times medical writer Thomas H. Maugh II

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