Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

World's Smallest Wedding Rings Made of DNA

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the GCAT-grade-stone dept.

Biotech 80

fangmcgee writes "Nerd love alert: German researchers have just created the world's smallest wedding rings, measuring less than a thousandth of the width of a human hair. Goethe University professor Alexander Heckel and his doctoral student Thorsten Schmidt made the artificial structures from two interlocking loops of DNA — known as catenane — in a single drop of water."

cancel ×

80 comments

But will she still be angry (3, Funny)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35818520)

When you accidentally drop it down the sink later?

Re:But will she still be angry (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35818684)

I dunno. Lots of my DNA went down the drain and no one ever seemed to care...

Re:But will she still be angry (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35818720)

I've made pearl necklaces with mine. Never really considered the potential scientific impact.

Re:But will she still be angry (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35818934)

I had a similar thought. Glad I wasn't the only one...

"No really, that was an extremely romantic gesture!"

Whose finger is it? (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35819802)

It will be much worse when she finds the rings you have do not fit her finger

Wedding? (4, Insightful)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35818538)

In what way are these rings "wedding rings"?

Re:Wedding? (1)

bwayne314 (1854406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35818586)

They aren't... Stupid story is stupid.

Two circular DNA molecules happen to interlock ... Move along folks...
The apple vs. microsoft debate is that a way ------->

samzenpus (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35818628)

Burn samzenpus [flagburningworld.com]

Re:Wedding? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35818620)

In no way whatsoever. The wedding ring reference was a joke made by the post doc who did this research. The press being what it is, used the joke. Then, at the end of the "article," the author makes an engagement ring joke, despite engagement rings not being the same as wedding rights at all.

Re:Wedding? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35819588)

despite engagement rings not being the same as wedding rights at all.

Actually, in Germany, they are.

Re:Wedding? (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#35818804)

Interlocked rings are a symbol of marriage.

Re:Wedding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35819502)

No, they're a symbol of the Olympics.

Re:Wedding? (1)

Dails (1798748) | more than 3 years ago | (#35819552)

Yup. Just ask the Alderac Entertainment Group.

Re:Wedding? (1)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 3 years ago | (#35819726)

I prefer Audi, but suit yourself.

Re:Wedding? (1)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 3 years ago | (#35819790)

Interlocked rings are a symbol of marriage.

So are a pair of handcuffs.

Re:Wedding? (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820060)

Fun fact: In Spanish, the word for "wives" is the same as the word for "handcuffs."

The even funnier reason why: The word for wife came first, stemming from a latin word that means "promise," and somehow the bond between husband and wife got handcuffs named after the term. Guess you can't make "ball-and-chain" jokes in Spanish? :P

Plausible romantic lie you can tell to a woman: <voice class="Antonio_Banderas">That's because they both come from a verb that means "to be linked at the wrist."</voice>

Re:Wedding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820464)

Fun fact #2: In Norwegian, the word "gift" means both "married" and "poison".

Re:Wedding? (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35821148)

Fun fact #2: Japanese uses the same word for "husband" and "master".

Fun fact #3: So does English.

Re:Wedding? (1)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 3 years ago | (#35822120)

As long as the handcuffs are soft and fuzzy.

Re:Wedding? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35819236)

In what way are these rings "wedding rings"?

Make one loop from a male DNA, one loop from female DNA and imagine the possibilities ... Of course, even TFA is kinda skeptical on this point:

Of course, the researchers didnâ(TM)t actually make wedding rings, this technique doesnâ(TM)t have any immediate practical use and the technique itself isnâ(TM)t particularly innovative. But hey, a mention in scientific literature still trumps a bouquet of roses in the world of nerd love.

So, in answer to your question ... pass the cheese. ;-)

Re:Wedding? (1)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 3 years ago | (#35819780)

Now that you made them, do they go on eBay or to Hammacher Schlemmer?

Re:Wedding? (1)

ItsJustAPseudonym (1259172) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820252)

Schlemmer, for sure. I think they would actually do it. Kudos for thinking of them as likely suspects.

Re:Wedding? (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35819948)

The DNA is cutting out its meat-puppet go-betweens and is reproducing directly, perhaps?

Re:Wedding? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35824994)

yes, you've busted them. They were trying to hide the fact that they have made cock-rings for their quite diminutive pee-pees, but now you've brought the blinding light of day to the blackness of the chamber of their secret, and the world will behold and mock.

Cannot be seen, even with a standard microscope (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35818548)

Once they obtain a microscope powerful enough to see these rings, maybe they could attempt to find cmdrtaco's penis with it.

I just don't get it (2)

paiute (550198) | more than 3 years ago | (#35818556)

Do people buy wedding rings which are intertwined? If so, why? You can't wear them that way.

Re:I just don't get it (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35818580)

I think that the intertwined ones are the sort that you find mounted on little plaques and such. I seem to remember seeing something like it. It's purely symbolic.

Re:I just don't get it (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35819966)

I think that the intertwined ones are the sort that you find mounted on little plaques and such. I seem to remember seeing something like it. It's purely symbolic.

Unlike the other sort of wedding ring. Oh, wait...

Re:I just don't get it (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820232)

My line of reasoning was that the other kind have more ornamental value than these, since they're actually going to be worn, while the interlocking rings are probably hung on a wall or stuffed onto some shelf where hardly anyone will see them. But yeah, both kinds do have symbolic value.

Re:I just don't get it (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820002)

It's purely symbolic.

Unlike regular wedding rings...?

Re:I just don't get it (1)

WorBlux (1751716) | more than 3 years ago | (#35822756)

Actually regular wedding rings are partially hazardous. Quite a few people manage to rip a finger off when they snag or catch the ring on something. Especially common among this incidents is snagging them on a truck or tractor door while jumping out.

Re:I just don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35824600)

A man is not supposed to wear a wedding ring.

Great way to impress your girlfriend! (3, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35818560)

Hey, I bought you the "World's Smallest Wedding Ring Made of DNA" . . . um, do you like it . . .?

Re:Great way to impress your girlfriend! (4, Funny)

rtaylor (70602) | more than 3 years ago | (#35818632)

Response: "Your DNA is what got us into this in the first place!"

Re:Great way to impress your girlfriend! (1)

Nemesisghost (1720424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35819052)

Hey, I bought you the "World's Smallest Wedding Ring Made of DNA" . . . um, do you like it . . .?

Response1: Unless it is at least 3 karates you are still sleeping on the sofa. Response2: Dear I know I said size doesn't matter, but.... Response3: Oh, look it'll go great with the condoms you buy.

Re:Great way to impress your girlfriend! (2)

MokuMokuRyoushi (1701196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35819278)

Response1: Unless it is at least 3 karates you are still sleeping on the sofa.

What about two Taekwondos and a kung fu?

Re:Great way to impress your girlfriend! (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 3 years ago | (#35819526)

Three karates will give you a black eye, a broken arm and a voice permanently one octave higher than it should be. Three carats, on the other hand, will give you anywhere from 24 hours to one year of marital bliss, depending upon how wisely you chose your spouse :D

</pedantic>

Re:Great way to impress your girlfriend! (2)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820008)

Since my divorce I have found my ex-wife did have some redeeming qualities.

She was allergic to gold, it made her break out.

She was allergic to most flowers, especially roses.

She did not like chocolate.

She always had a job

And she, unless physically ill, was always willing and ready to have sex. Even a quickie on her way out the door to work if I desired.

Re:Great way to impress your girlfriend! (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | more than 3 years ago | (#35821600)

And you divorced her because...?

Not being nosy, just puzzled.

Re:Great way to impress your girlfriend! (1)

Ced_Ex (789138) | more than 3 years ago | (#35821818)

Has the thought occurred to you that maybe she's ugly?!

Re:Great way to impress your girlfriend! (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35825014)

you mean you are finding out it's all downhill from there with any other women you will ever likely meet.

Re:Great way to impress your girlfriend! (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35819976)

"Great. Just the size for you to use as a cock ring!"

really? (1)

cryoman23 (1646557) | more than 3 years ago | (#35818570)

it says they were made in a single drop of water... meaning that they are too small to be worn, and if they are too small to the worn (or likely even seen...) how do the justify calling them wedding rings?

Interlocking Rings Related to Weddings (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35818578)

I understand the symbolism, but are any wedding rings really interlocking?

Graphite is essentially a series of interlocked benzene rings, btw, so if we want to run with this concept we certainly can find much smaller examples than in TFA.

Or are these wedding rings because they're made of DNA?

Re:Yes, Turkish wedding rings are interlinked. (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 3 years ago | (#35818876)

Google images of Turkish Wedding Rings. These traditional wedding rings are made with 4 or more interlocking rings. If the ring is taken off the finger, the ring becomes 4 interlinked rings that are difficult to reassemble.
http://csusap.csu.edu.au/~hulbah01/Pic/r4.gif [csu.edu.au]

Re:Yes, Turkish wedding rings are interlinked. (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 3 years ago | (#35819066)

Ya, something like that allowed John Crichton to initiate his escape from the Peacekeepers, when a guard took an interest in the ring - and putting it back together - as a "field resourcefulness exercise", another thought it might be a weapon, and a fight broke out between the two... Never underestimate the power of Jewelry.

Re:Interlocking Rings Related to Weddings (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35818944)

I think the point is that they did it themselves. At some point it might well become realistic to make entire sheets of these rings, a bit like nano-scale chain mail. Which would have its own benefits when done in many layers.

Re:Interlocking Rings Related to Weddings (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35819050)

Graphite is essentially a series of interlocked benzene rings

No. Adjacent or contiguous, yes. Interlocked, no. Three molecules of each benzene ring are shared with another ring(s).

Also, no one seems to have mentioned that DNA molecules are (IIRC) something like a meter long when stretched out, so it's going to be a hard-to-see, ill-fitting wedding ring at that.

Re:Interlocking Rings Related to Weddings (1)

ZombieWomble (893157) | more than 3 years ago | (#35819316)

"DNA molecules" can have radically varying lengths - a single base pair on a strand typically occupies about 3 Angstroms, but the number of base pairs in a given molecule can range from a handful to many million. Based on the quoted size (about 250 Angstroms, assuming a 100 um human hair), the number of base pairs here is probably a few hundred to a thousand, depending on how ring-like and well packed these structures actually are.

One human cell's worth of DNA is about 3 billion base pairs, which times 3 Angstroms is about 1m, which is probably where the "meter long" value you heard came from.

Epic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35818626)

News title: Worldâ(TM)s Smallest 'Wedding Rings' Made from DNA

Scroll down and you see one of the related titles: "Colorful Poo Could Give Health Warning"

Epic. :D

Yeah. Try giving that to your girl. (3, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | more than 3 years ago | (#35818744)

Geek or no. She wants a goddamn diamond!

But it isn't thermodynamically stable, honey! (2)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 3 years ago | (#35818918)

No problem, just explain to her that diamond is thermodynamically unstable and will decompose into graphite anyway within a few billion years.... dramatic pause... "and I'm sure our love will last much longer than that!".

Or maybe, tell her that it quickly converts to graphite at temperatures greater than 1700 degrees C... dramatic pause... "and our passion is much hotter than that!".

Or... dramatic pause... just tell her you're broke.

Re:But it isn't thermodynamically stable, honey! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35819444)

Actually, tell her that a diamond is just a worthless piece of transparent coal, that has absolutely no meaning attached to it, and is about as personal, as giving someone a generic $50 gift card from the supermarket.
It's something for prostitutes and fat cat wives (that type that is essentially still a prostitute).

If she's really that shallow, I don't want to marry her anyway.

Re:But it isn't thermodynamically stable, honey! (2)

Xacid (560407) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820144)

That was pretty much one of my barometers for choosing a wife. "You either get a house or an expensive ring. Which do you choose?"

Remember Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (original)- where they sorted out the bad eggs? There you go.

Re:But it isn't thermodynamically stable, honey! (2)

radtea (464814) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820724)

That was pretty much one of my barometers for choosing a wife. "You either get a house or an expensive ring. Which do you choose?"

Oh c'mon! Nothing says "I love you" more than an overpriced rock dug out the ground by African slave labour and sold to you via a cartel of obscenely wealthy oligarchs!

I actually do think the whole "three months salary" thing is a great invention, though. Any woman who wants a ring worth that much is one to run, not walk, away from, so it's a great litmus test of a life partner.

Re:But it isn't thermodynamically stable, honey! (1)

aiht (1017790) | more than 3 years ago | (#35825210)

Hear, hear!

Re:Yeah. Try giving that to your girl. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35819012)

if she wants a diamond, she'd better be willing to accept small amounts of DNA first.

Re:Yeah. Try giving that to your girl. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35819152)

Diamonds. say it with blood

Re:Yeah. Try giving that to your girl. (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35819192)

Geek or no. She wants a goddamn diamond!

Yes, but can anything symbolize the love you share more than intertwined rings of your DNA and her DNA, forever protected by Nature's hardest substance, set on an exquisite 24 carat gold ring?

Re:Yeah. Try giving that to your girl. (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#35819204)

Geek or no. She wants a goddamn diamond!

And if you are realy geeky then make the diamond from yourself [lifegem.com] .

Matching set? (1)

bellers (254327) | more than 3 years ago | (#35818820)

I wonder if the lucky bride also received a necklace made entirely out of DNA later in the day.

Re:Matching set? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35819120)

bravo

Re:Matching set? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820558)

lol

It's a Sad Day For Science... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35818838)

...When someone does something just to get laid with a massive amount of scientific knowledge required while flipping the bird to practicality.

One question.... (1)

tonejava (772709) | more than 3 years ago | (#35819090)

Why?

Smallest wedding ring? Pfft! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35819122)

What about Toluene or methylcyclohexane? That carbon that sticks out - it's a *very* small diamond!

Summary and 1/1000 of a hair (1)

baka_toroi (1194359) | more than 3 years ago | (#35819218)

I like the way it's portrayed as a "Geeky present" but the summary uses a retarded way to describe how thin it is.

Not the first (1)

Megahard (1053072) | more than 3 years ago | (#35819298)

Catenanes [wikipedia.org] have been known for some time. This is just the first made out of DNA. So the others are smaller. Which makes the story doubly-lame.

Re:Not the first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35819550)

DNA catenananes have been around for at least 14 years (when I first heard of them), and probably for another 10 to 20 years before that even.

Just created? (4, Funny)

ibpooks (127372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35819542)

Umm...married people have been exchanging DNA for a very long time.

Re:Just created? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820026)

source ?

Re:Just created? (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820570)

balls.

yeah, how's that working out? (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820592)

Will a paternity test be needed to get a divorce now, to make sure you're actually the father of the wedding ring?

Not to be pedantic but... (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820648)

...aren't "wedding rings" the bands that 2 people EXCHANGE to signify their bond to each other? This is just two interlocking loops of DNA that someone made...now if he'd made them out of his and hers DNA contributions, then there would be SOME tie to the relationship.

I mean, if I'm about to get married, and I draw two circles in the beer-foam on the table, can I claim "they're the world's first beer wedding rings!".

Or even better, if I can afford to have to gymnastic hookers form interlocking naked circles, could that be the world's first "hooker wedding rings"?

Viral weddings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820728)

Wait'll the right wing hears that viruses are getting married. That should really make their heads explode!

If you ask me (1)

Thraxy (1782662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35823164)

Research money well spent. This is the most exiting thing to happen in the wedding field since edible underwear.

DNA around your finger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35823194)

Whoever approved this article forgot the NSFW tag for all the jokes about to come...

Rube Goldberg strikes again! (1)

sd211 (449486) | more than 3 years ago | (#35823284)

Talk about Rube Goldberg approach! While the method is somewhat innovative, the structures have been known for at least 30 years. The catenans are easily made when preparing plasmid dna in bacteria. In a regular preparation of plasmid DNA about 1- 2% of DNA is in the form of catenan. They do not interfere with usual applications of plasmid DNA and so people do not pay attention to it's presence.

Other jewelry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35828512)

I've given pearl necklaces made from DNA. Several times.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...