Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

MSI Reveals Invention for Detection and Precise Quantification of Molecules

23.12.2004


Researchers at The Molecular Sciences Institute revealed means for sensitive detection and precise quantification of arbitrarily designated molecules. The work is published in the current issue of Nature Methods.



The Cover Article, entitled "Using protein-DNA chimeras to detect and count small numbers of molecules," describes "tadpole" molecules, and their use to detect and count small numbers of proteins and other molecules.

Detection and quantification methods based on these molecules have exquisite sensitivity, immense dynamic range, and unprecedented quantitative precision. These attributes should make the molecules useful for applications from diagnosis and assessment of human disease, to environmental monitoring, to detection of pathogens during an emerging infectious disease or a deliberate biological attack.


Methods based on these molecules are designed to work with the existing infrastructure of PCR machines, which are widely deployed and found most county public health departments in the United States.

According to Dr. Roger Brent, MSI Director and senior member of the team, "We called the molecules tadpoles because they consist of a protein head coupled to a DNA tail. The head binds the specific target molecule, while the DNA tail lets us count the number of target molecules."

Dr. Ian Burbulis, a researcher at MSI, devised the tadpole molecules and is the first author of the paper. According to Dr. Burbulis, "If you want to understand the mechanistic operation of biological systems, you need to know the precise numbers of each component part found in individual cells. Tadpoles and methods based on them should make that possible."

To count molecules so precisely, the researchers resorted to statistical methods sometimes used in high energy physics. The improved statistical techniques may be useful in other applications, such as management of therapy for HIV.

The work is funded by MSI’s Alpha Project, its flagship effort to predict the future behavior of a prototype cellular system. The Alpha project is funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Human Genome Research Institute. In 2002, NHGRI named MSI a "Center of Excellence in Genomic Science," an acknowledgement of MSI’s past and future research contributions in the field.

"This invention is almost a textbook example of how research into fundamental biology can spin off applications that might impact human health and safety in fairly short order," said Dr. Brent.

The invention is also described in an accompanying Nature Methods "News and Views" article by Stanford researcher Dr. Garry Nolan, who wrote that tadpoles may be an "appealing system for researchers wanting a standardized, high-throughput, and accurate detection system for... just about anything."

The Molecular Sciences Institute is an independent nonprofit research laboratory that combines genomic experimentation with computer modeling. Work at MSI aims to weave biology together with physics, engineering, computer science, and mathematics to enable precise, quantitative, prediction of the future behaviors of biological systems.

Nature Methods is a first-tier journal for new methods and significant improvements in life sciences and chemistry.

Maryanne McCormick | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.molsci.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Single-stranded DNA and RNA origami go live
15.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

nachricht New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists
15.12.2017 | Louisiana State University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Error-free into the Quantum Computer Age

A study carried out by an international team of researchers and published in the journal Physical Review X shows that ion-trap technologies available today are suitable for building large-scale quantum computers. The scientists introduce trapped-ion quantum error correction protocols that detect and correct processing errors.

In order to reach their full potential, today’s quantum computer prototypes have to meet specific criteria: First, they have to be made bigger, which means...

Im Focus: Search for planets with Carmenes successful

German and Spanish researchers plan, build and use modern spectrograph

Since 2016, German and Spanish researchers, among them scientists from the University of Göttingen, have been hunting for exoplanets with the “Carmenes”...

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Error-free into the Quantum Computer Age

18.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Disarray in the brain

18.12.2017 | Studies and Analyses

2 million euros in funding for new MR-compatible electrophysiological brain implants

18.12.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>