Scientists have developed a new method for DNA amplification that could replace the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a technique that is invaluable for both medical diagnostics and basic research but which is confined to the laboratory. In the August issue of EMBO reports, Huimin Kong and colleagues at New England Biolabs (Beverly, MA, USA) describe a way to copy mass amounts of DNA that overcomes some of the limitations of this earlier technique.
The new technique is called HDA (helicase-dependent amplification). HDA is as simple as PCR, but has significant advantages. PCR requires thermocycling to heat and cool a sample of DNA, to allow denaturation (separating DNA into single strands) and synthesis (copying single strands to create new double-stranded DNA). HDA instead mimics nature’s method of replicating DNA by using a helicase enzyme to denature the DNA. As a result, the entire HDA reaction can be performed at one temperature that is optimized for synthesis, eliminating the need for an expensive and power-hungry thermocycler.
HDA could expand the application of DNA amplification to situations in which the requirements for PCR have made it prohibitive. The costs are likely to be more modest and, most importantly, the simplicity of HDA makes it suitable for the development of hand-held DNA diagnostic devices that could be used to detect pathogens at the point-of-care or in the field.
Huimin Kong | alfa
Oestrogen regulates pathological changes of bones via bone lining cells
28.07.2017 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Programming cells with computer-like logic
27.07.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard
Spectrally narrow x-ray pulses may be “sharpened” by purely mechanical means. This sounds surprisingly, but a team of theoretical and experimental physicists developed and realized such a method. It is based on fast motions, precisely synchronized with the pulses, of a target interacting with the x-ray light. Thereby, photons are redistributed within the x-ray pulse to the desired spectral region.
A team of theoretical physicists from the MPI for Nuclear Physics (MPIK) in Heidelberg has developed a novel method to intensify the spectrally broad x-ray...
Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.
Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
26.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
28.07.2017 | Health and Medicine
28.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
28.07.2017 | Life Sciences