While two-dimensional modeling of double-stranded DNA molecules has been useful for the purpose of cancer research, the composition of the G-quadruplex, a four-stranded DNA sequence, has proven a different beast. A 3D printing lab at the University of Alabama has successfully produced a physical model of its molecular structure, improving understanding of its makeup and potentially, helping develop a treatment for pancreatic cancer. As with rapid prototyping, having a live model is invaluable.
Research has shown that targeting G-quadruplex sequences with particular compounds can inhibit or stabilize tumors leading to pancreatic cancer. As such, the 3D model is already in use as a tool in pre-clinical studies for pancreatic cancer research.
Read more by Nick Lavars, gizmag, February 12, 2014