The work is reported in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface.
Using the approach they call "Direct Molecular Recognition," the UCLA and NYU researchers used nanoparticles to turn the DNA molecules into a form of molecular braille that can be read in the scale of nanometers, or one billionth of a meter, using high-speed Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM).
The leaders of the study are: Jason Reed, a research professor, and Professor Jim Gimzewski, nanotechnology pioneer, both at UCLA's California Nanosystems Institute, and Professor Bud Mishra, genomics expert, at NYU's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. This group believes the method will have many practical uses, such as super-sensitive detection of DNA molecules in genomic research and medical diagnostics as well as in identifying pathogens.
While there are a variety of techniques currently used for this purpose, they are time consuming, technically difficult, and expensive. They also require a significant amount of genetic material in order to make accurate readings and often require prior knowledge of the sample composition.
According to Mishra, to overcome these shortcomings, the team devised a "single-cell, single-molecule" method that would dispense with the complex chemical manipulations on which existing methods are based, and, instead, utilize the unique shapes of the molecules themselves as the method of identification. This approach has the benefits of being rapid and sensitive to the level of a single molecule.
Reed says that "the long term goal of our team's research is to dissect, understand, and control the biology of single cells in complex tissues, such as brain, or in malignant tumors. Furthering this body of work requires that we address an unsolved problem in single-cell molecular analysis: the lack of a method to routinely, reliably, and inexpensively determine global gene transcriptional activity."
James Devitt | EurekAlert!
Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
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Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy