Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

John SantaLucia, Jr.

Second Advisor

David Rueda


Nucleic acids are good candidates for nanomachine construction. They participate in all the processes of life, and so can function as structural building blocks and dynamic catalysts. However, to use nucleic acids as nanomachines, a better understanding of their material properties, how to design structures using them, and their dynamics is needed. We have tried to address these issues, in a small way, with nucleic acid force field development, an attempt at nanostructural design and synthesis using DNA, and a study of the RNA/protein regulatory dynamics of the tryptophan regulatory attenuation protein.