Paul Rothemund and Colleagues Use Self-Assembled DNA Scaffolding to Build Tiny Circuit Boards


Dr. Paul Rothemund, Senior Research Associate in Bioengineering, Computer Science, and Computation and Neural Systems, and colleagues have developed a new technique to orient and position self-assembled DNA shapes and patterns--or "DNA origami"--on surfaces that are compatible with today's semiconductor manufacturing equipment. They "have removed a key barrier to the improvement and advancement of computer chips. They accomplished this through the revolutionary approach of combining the building blocks for life with the building blocks for computing," said Professor Ares Rosakis, Chair of Division of Engineering and Applied Science and Theodore von Kármán Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering. [Caltech Press Release]

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John Doyle Discovers the Importance of Fire in Global Climate Change


Scientists Discover Importance of Fire in Global Climate Change. Researchers including John Doyle, Caltech's Braun Professor of Control and Dynamical Systems, Electrical Engineering, and Bioengineering, Emeritus, have determined that fire must be accounted for as an integral part of climate change. Their research shows that intentional deforestation fires alone contribute up to one-fifth of the human-caused increase in emissions of carbon dioxide. According to the article, increasing numbers of natural wildfires are influencing climate as well. [Science Magazine article]

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Erik Winfree Controls Complex Nucleation Processes using DNA Origami Seeds


"Flowers, dogs, and just about all biological objects are created from the bottom up," says Erik Winfree, associate professor of computer science, computation and neural systems, and bioengineering at Caltech. Along with his coworkers, Winfree is seeking to integrate bottom-up construction approaches with molecular fabrication processes to construct objects from parts that are just a few billionths of a meter in size that essentially assemble themselves. In a recent paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Winfree and his colleagues describe the development of an information-containing DNA "seed" that can direct the self-assembled bottom-up growth of tiles of DNA in a precisely controlled fashion. In some ways, the process is similar to how the fertilized seeds of plants or animals contain information that directs the growth and development of those organisms. [Caltech Press Release]

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$10 Million Awarded to the Molecular Programming Project Led by Erik Winfree


The National Science Foundation's Expeditions in Computing program has awarded $10 million to the Molecular Programming Project, a collaborative effort by researchers at Caltech and the University of Washington, led by Professor Erik Winfree, to establish a fundamental approach to the design of complex molecular and chemical systems based on the principles of computer science. [Caltech Press Release]

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Professor Steven Low Elected Fellow of the IEEE


Steven Low, Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, has been elected a Fellow of the IEEE for his contributions in internet congestion control.

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Undergraduates Win Southern California Regional Programming Contest


Caltech undergraduates Euiwoong Lee (class of '09), Seungwoo Shin (class of '10), and Ben Zax (class of '10) have won the ACM Southern California Regional Programming Contest. Coached by Donnie Pinkston, the team was the only team to solve all six problems of the challenge. Caltech has won the regionals for the last 6 years straight - and eight years out of the last nine. Kudos programmers!

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