Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Speedier diagnosis of diseases such as cancer likely thanks to new DNA analysis technique

05.08.2014

McGill researchers develop breakthrough technique for genomic analysis of long DNA molecules

Researchers from McGill University and the Génome Québec Innovation Centre have achieved a technical breakthrough that should result in speedier diagnosis of cancer and various pre-natal conditions.

Long Strands of DNA Stretched for Analysis

Long strands of DNA can now be analyzed thanks to a new tool developed by McGill University and Génome Québec. This technical breakthrough will potentially result in speedier diagnosis of cancer and various pre-natal conditions.

Credit: Daniel Berard

The key discovery, which is described online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), lies in a new tool developed by Professors Sabrina Leslie and Walter Reisner of McGill's Physics Department and their collaborator Dr. Rob Sladek of the Génome Québec Innovation Centre.

It allows researchers to load long strands of DNA into a tunable nanoscale imaging chamber in ways that maintain their structural identity and under conditions that are similar to those found in the human body.

This newly developed "Convex Lens-Induced Confinement" (CLIC) will permit researchers to rapidly map large genomes while at the same time clearly identifying specific gene sequences from single cells with single-molecule resolution, a process that is critical to diagnosing diseases like cancer.

CLIC, the new tool, can sit on top of a standard inverted fluorescence microscope used in a university lab. The innovative aspect of CLIC lies in the fact that it allows strands of DNA to be loaded into the imaging chamber from above, a process which allows the strands of DNA to maintain their integrity.

Existing tools used for genomic analysis rely on side-loading DNA under pressure into nanochannels in the imaging chamber, a practice that breaks the DNA molecules into small pieces, making it a challenge to reconstruct the genome.

"It's like squeezing many soft spaghetti noodles into long narrow tubes without breaking them," explains Prof. Leslie as she describes what it is like to use CLIC. "Once these long strands of DNA are gently squeezed down into nanochannels from a nanoscale bath above, they become effectively rigid which means that we can map positions along uniformly stretched strands of DNA, while holding them still. This means diagnostics can be performed quickly, one cell at a time, which is critical for diagnosing many pre-natal conditions and the onset of cancer."

"Current practices of genomic analysis typically require tens of thousands of cells worth of genomic material to obtain the information we need, but this new approach works with single cells," says Dr. Rob Sladek of the Génome Québec Innovation Centre. "CLIC will allow researchers to avoid having to spend time stitching together maps of entire genomes as we do under current techniques, and promises to make genomic analysis a much simpler and more efficient process."

"Nanoscale physics has so much to offer biomedicine and diagnostics," adds Prof. Leslie. "CLIC brings the nanoscale regime to the bench top, and genomics is just the beginning".

###

To read the full article "Convex Lens-Induced Nanoscale Templating" by Sabrina R. Leslie et al in PNAS: http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1321089111

To contact the researchers directly: sabrina.leslie@mcgill.ca

Katherine Gombay | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://www.mcgill.ca

Further reports about: DNA McGill PNAS chamber diagnosis diagnosis of cancer diseases genomes genomic nanochannels nanoscale strands

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Strong Evidence – New Insight in Muscle Function
27.04.2015 | Austrian Science Fund FWF

nachricht Cell fusion ‘eats up’ the ‘attractive cell’ in flowering plants
27.04.2015 | Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (WPI-ITbM), Nagoya 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: Fast and Accurate 3-D Imaging Technique to Track Optically-Trapped Particles

KAIST researchers published an article on the development of a novel technique to precisely track the 3-D positions of optically-trapped particles having complicated geometry in high speed in the April 2015 issue of Optica.

Daejeon, Republic of Korea, April 23, 2015--Optical tweezers have been used as an invaluable tool for exerting micro-scale force on microscopic particles and...

Im Focus: NOAA, Tulane identify second possible specimen of 'pocket shark' ever found

Pocket sharks are among the world's rarest finds

A very small and rare species of shark is swimming its way through scientific literature. But don't worry, the chances of this inches-long vertebrate biting...

Im Focus: Drexel materials scientists putting a new spin on computing memory

Ever since computers have been small enough to be fixtures on desks and laps, their central processing has functioned something like an atomic Etch A Sketch, with electromagnetic fields pushing data bits into place to encode data.

Unfortunately, the same drawbacks and perils of the mechanical sketch board have been just as pervasive in computing: making a change often requires starting...

Im Focus: Exploding stars help to understand thunderclouds on Earth

How is lightning initiated in thunderclouds? This is difficult to answer - how do you measure electric fields inside large, dangerously charged clouds? It was discovered, more or less by coincidence, that cosmic rays provide suitable probes to measure electric fields within thunderclouds. This surprising finding is published in Physical Review Letters on April 24th. The measurements were performed with the LOFAR radio telescope located in the Netherlands.

How is lightning initiated in thunderclouds? This is difficult to answer - how do you measure electric fields inside large, dangerously charged clouds? It was...

Im Focus: On the trail of a trace gas

Max Planck researcher Buhalqem Mamtimin determines how much nitrogen oxide is released into the atmosphere from agriculturally used oases.

In order to make statements about current and future air pollution, scientists use models which simulate the Earth’s atmosphere. A lot of information such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

HHL Energy Conference on May 11/12, 2015: Students Discuss about Decentralized Energy

23.04.2015 | Event News

“Developing our cities, preserving our planet”: Nobel Laureates gather for the first time in Asia

23.04.2015 | Event News

HHL's Entrepreneurship Conference on FinTech

13.04.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Strong Evidence – New Insight in Muscle Function

27.04.2015 | Life Sciences

The Future of Oil and Gas: Last of Her Kind

27.04.2015 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny Lab Devices Could Attack Huge Problem of Drug-Resistant Infections

27.04.2015 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>