Arachno-medicinal: Molecular spiders being bred for medical use


    Well, why not… We’ve been discussing viruses being harnessed to act as batteries lately. Why not molecular spiders?

    Seems a team of scientists at Columbia University is set to unleash a group of molecular spiders on the world. Technically, they’re not spiders as we know them, because they have only four legs. There’s also that thing about size: they are made up of 10-nanometer strands of DNA. That is minuscule!

    Early research shows that the spiders can, in effect, “mow the lawn,” cutting through enzymes by moving their “feet” from one point to the next. If you’re thinking that such processes could be used to eradicate tumors or damaged tissue, that’s probably far into the future but theoretically possible.

    These molecular spiders are being built to have medical uses, such as automating the release of drugs into the blood stream. That would certainly be good news for diabetics, who must closely control how quickly insulin enters their system.