Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Star technology aids DNA analysis

04.11.2003


University of Leicester astronomers and biologists have patented a new way of analysing DNA from gene-chips, which may be used in laboratories and hospitals to diagnose diseases from a single drop of blood and compare gene expression in different samples.

The pioneering technique uses an instrument developed at the European Space Agency’s laboratories in Holland for the study of light from distant galaxies to overcome a problem that has previously dogged gene-chip research.

Gene chips are covered with DNA from thousands of genes, which bind with matching genetic sequences when a sample is poured onto them. Fluorescent tags show where binding has taken place and therefore which genes are active.



Samples have to be tested at the same time and on the same chip, and it is the limitations of the colour coding of these different samples which the new technology has revolutionised.

Biologist Professor Pat Heslop-Harrison, with fellow biologist Dr Trude Schwarzacher and astronomers Professor George Fraser and Dr Andrew Holland, have adapted the space research techniques which use properties of superconductivity and association of electrons at temperatures close to absolute zero to analyse the faint light from areas in the early universe.

The device, known as the superconducting tunnel junction camera (S-cam), allows them to compare accurately four biological samples and they hope to be able to compare seven or more samples in the future.

Professor Heslop-Harrison commented: “We have been looking for better quantitative methods to measure both colour and brightness from multiple probes put onto our biological samples. The new development is unique in measuring colour without filters, gratings or other systems which lose sensitivity and don’t have the colour resolution we need. It looks as though the S-cam will overcome many of the difficulties in measuring data from gene chips so they can reach their full potential as diagnostic and research tools.”

Professor George Fraser added: “The Space Research Centre has been active in transferring detector technologies into the life sciences and medicine for several years, but this is a development with much greater potential than those we have worked on previously. The technical challenges are also the most severe.”

Further information is available from

Professor Pat Heslop-Harrison
Department of Biology, University of Leicester
Tel. 0116 252 5079/3381
Fax 0116 252 2791
E-mail: phh4@le.ac.uk

or from Professor George Fraser
Space Research Centre, University of Leicester
Tel 0116 252 3542, Fax 0116 252 2464
E-mail: gwf@star.le.ac.ukgwf@star.le.ac.uk

Ather Mirza | University of Leicester
Further information:
http://www.le.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Dissolving protein traffic jam at the entrance of mitochondria
23.05.2019 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Producing tissue and organs through lithography
23.05.2019 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The geometry of an electron determined for the first time

Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer. The experiments were published in Physical Review Letters and the related theory in Physical Review B.

The spin of an electron is a promising candidate for use as the smallest information unit (qubit) of a quantum computer. Controlling and switching this spin or...

Im Focus: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

Im Focus: Accelerating quantum technologies with materials processing at the atomic scale

'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.

However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...

Im Focus: A step towards probabilistic computing

Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future

When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plumbene, graphene's latest cousin, realized on the 'nano water cube'

23.05.2019 | Materials Sciences

New flatland material: Physicists obtain quasi-2D gold

23.05.2019 | Materials Sciences

New Boost for ToCoTronics

23.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>