LightDyNAmics is a European project entitled DNA as a training platform for photodynamic processes in soft materials. (ETN H2020) started on April 2018. Some key aspects studied in the frame of this project are illustrated in the cartoon below.
The cartoon characters are named GACT, from the initials of the four DNA bases: Guanine, Adenine, Cytosine and Thymine. GACTs give hands (associate via hydrogen bonds) to form double helices. But even when interconnected, GACTs remain able to perform weak movements, as happens with molecules in soft matter. Upon absorption of UV radiation by DNA (when a photon hits GACTs) the light energy triggers a series of processes which may lead to chemical reactions damaging the DNA; for example, two bases may stuck together (two GACTS become blue) or a GACT may lose an electron, represented by a hat. The processes preceding such reactions strongly depend on the local motions, as is the case of organic materials used in the field of molecular electronics.