Paul Rothemund compares his work to “casting a spell” — and it does seem akin to magic. By writing a set of instructions, he can cause bits of DNA to fold themselves into a smiley face, a star, a triangle. Sure, it’s a stunt, but it’s also a fascinating window into the possibility of self-assembly at the smallest of scales. In other words: today a smiley face, tomorrow a micro-microprocessor. (Recorded March 2007 in Monterey, California. Duration: 05:11.)
Watch Paul Rothemund’s talk on TED.com, where you can download it, rate it, comment on it and find other talks and performances.
Read more about Paul Rothemund on TED.com.