Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Star technology aids DNA analysis

04.11.2003


University of Leicester astronomers and biologists have patented a new way of analysing DNA from gene-chips, which may be used in laboratories and hospitals to diagnose diseases from a single drop of blood and compare gene expression in different samples.

The pioneering technique uses an instrument developed at the European Space Agency’s laboratories in Holland for the study of light from distant galaxies to overcome a problem that has previously dogged gene-chip research.

Gene chips are covered with DNA from thousands of genes, which bind with matching genetic sequences when a sample is poured onto them. Fluorescent tags show where binding has taken place and therefore which genes are active.



Samples have to be tested at the same time and on the same chip, and it is the limitations of the colour coding of these different samples which the new technology has revolutionised.

Biologist Professor Pat Heslop-Harrison, with fellow biologist Dr Trude Schwarzacher and astronomers Professor George Fraser and Dr Andrew Holland, have adapted the space research techniques which use properties of superconductivity and association of electrons at temperatures close to absolute zero to analyse the faint light from areas in the early universe.

The device, known as the superconducting tunnel junction camera (S-cam), allows them to compare accurately four biological samples and they hope to be able to compare seven or more samples in the future.

Professor Heslop-Harrison commented: “We have been looking for better quantitative methods to measure both colour and brightness from multiple probes put onto our biological samples. The new development is unique in measuring colour without filters, gratings or other systems which lose sensitivity and don’t have the colour resolution we need. It looks as though the S-cam will overcome many of the difficulties in measuring data from gene chips so they can reach their full potential as diagnostic and research tools.”

Professor George Fraser added: “The Space Research Centre has been active in transferring detector technologies into the life sciences and medicine for several years, but this is a development with much greater potential than those we have worked on previously. The technical challenges are also the most severe.”

Further information is available from

Professor Pat Heslop-Harrison
Department of Biology, University of Leicester
Tel. 0116 252 5079/3381
Fax 0116 252 2791
E-mail: phh4@le.ac.uk

or from Professor George Fraser
Space Research Centre, University of Leicester
Tel 0116 252 3542, Fax 0116 252 2464
E-mail: gwf@star.le.ac.ukgwf@star.le.ac.uk

Ather Mirza | University of Leicester
Further information:
http://www.le.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Scientists enlist engineered protein to battle the MERS virus
22.05.2017 | University of Toronto

nachricht Insight into enzyme's 3-D structure could cut biofuel costs
19.05.2017 | DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

Im Focus: Hydrogen Bonds Directly Detected for the First Time

For the first time, scientists have succeeded in studying the strength of hydrogen bonds in a single molecule using an atomic force microscope. Researchers from the University of Basel’s Swiss Nanoscience Institute network have reported the results in the journal Science Advances.

Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe and is an integral part of almost all organic compounds. Molecules and sections of macromolecules are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

Media accreditation opens for historic year at European Health Forum Gastein

16.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New approach to revolutionize the production of molecular hydrogen

22.05.2017 | Materials Sciences

Scientists enlist engineered protein to battle the MERS virus

22.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Experts explain origins of topographic relief on Earth, Mars and Titan

22.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>