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 Common bacteria on verge of becoming antibiotic-resistant superbugs
26.03.2015 | Washington University School of Medicine

nachricht Chemical tag marks future microRNAs for processing, study shows
25.03.2015 | Rockefeller 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: Experiment Provides the Best Look Yet at 'Warm Dense Matter' at Cores of Giant Planets

In an experiment at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, scientists precisely measured the temperature and structure of aluminum as...

Im Focus: Energy-autonomous and wireless monitoring protects marine gearboxes

The IPH presents a solution at HANNOVER MESSE 2015 to make ship traffic more reliable while decreasing the maintenance costs at the same time. In cooperation with project partners, the research institute from Hannover, Germany, has developed a sensor system which continuously monitors the condition of the marine gearbox, thus preventing breakdowns. Special feature: the monitoring system works wirelessly and energy-autonomously. The required electrical power is generated where it is needed – directly at the sensor.

As well as cars need to be certified regularly (in Germany by the TÜV – Technical Inspection Association), ships need to be inspected – if the powertrain stops...

Im Focus: 3-D satellite, GPS earthquake maps isolate impacts in real time

Method produced by UI researcher could improve reaction time to deadly, expensive quakes

When an earthquake hits, the faster first responders can get to an impacted area, the more likely infrastructure--and lives--can be saved.

Im Focus: Atlantic Ocean overturning found to slow down already today

The Atlantic overturning is one of Earth’s most important heat transport systems, pumping warm water northwards and cold water southwards. Also known as the Gulf Stream system, it is responsible for the mild climate in northwestern Europe. 

Scientists now found evidence for a slowdown of the overturning – multiple lines of observation suggest that in recent decades, the current system has been...

Im Focus: Robot inspects concrete garage floors and bridge roadways for damage

Because they are regularly subjected to heavy vehicle traffic, emissions, moisture and salt, above- and underground parking garages, as well as bridges, frequently experience large areas of corrosion. Most inspection systems to date have only been capable of inspecting smaller surface areas.

From April 13 to April 17 at the Hannover Messe (hall 2, exhibit booth C16), engineers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing IZFP will be...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

World Conference On Regenerative Medicine 2015: Registration And Abstract Submission Now Open

25.03.2015 | Event News

University presidents from all over the world meet in Hamburg

19.03.2015 | Event News

10. CeBiTec Symposium zum Big Data-Problem

17.03.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Surface-modified nanoparticles endow coatings with combined properties

26.03.2015 | Trade Fair News

Novel sensor system provides continuous smart monitoring of machinery and plant equipment

26.03.2015 | Trade Fair News

Common bacteria on verge of becoming antibiotic-resistant superbugs

26.03.2015 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>