Tagging faulty genes with fluorescent nanodots

A nanoscale imaging technique that could improve the reliability of an important diagnostic test for breast cancer, and other biomedical tests, is described by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researchers in the Feb. 11 online issue of Nucleic Acids Research.

The method involves attaching fluorescent particles just 15 nanometers (billionths of a meter) in diameter to particular sections of DNA, followed by analysis of the intensity of the fluorescence signal and other properties. These particles, called quantum dots, have unique electronic and optical properties that make them easier to detect than conventional fluorescent tags used in biomedical research. The NIST team demonstrated that quantum dots give off signals that are 200 to 1,100 percent more intense than those from two types of conventional tags, and also are more stable when exposed to light.

The new technique is a spin-off of an ongoing NIST effort to develop standards for a test that identifies breast cancer patients who would benefit from a particular drug therapy. The standards are expected to help reduce uncertainty in the so-called FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization) test that detects a particular gene. Excess copies of this gene result in over-production of a protein and cause tumor cells to grow rapidly. Potentially, quantum dots could be used to tag these genes.

The quantum dots used in the study are commercially available aggregates of semiconductor materials, which, even though they contain hundreds to thousands of atoms, behave like single atoms electronically. Quantum dots absorb light efficiently over a wide frequency range and re-emit it at a single wavelength (or color) that depends on particle size.

The NIST research is supported in part by the National Institutes of Health.

Media Contact

Laura Ost EurekAlert!

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.nist.gov/

Alle Nachrichten aus der Kategorie: Life Sciences

Articles and reports from the Life Sciences area deal with applied and basic research into modern biology, chemistry and human medicine.

Valuable information can be found on a range of life sciences fields including bacteriology, biochemistry, bionics, bioinformatics, biophysics, biotechnology, genetics, geobotany, human biology, marine biology, microbiology, molecular biology, cellular biology, zoology, bioinorganic chemistry, microchemistry and environmental chemistry.

Zurück zur Startseite

Kommentare (0)

Schreib Kommentar

Neueste Beiträge

Cyanobacteria: Small Candidates …

… as Great Hopes for Medicine and Biotechnology In the coming years, scientists at the Chair of Technical Biochemistry at TU Dresden will work on the genomic investigation of previously…

Do the twist: Making two-dimensional quantum materials using curved surfaces

Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have discovered a way to control the growth of twisting, microscopic spirals of materials just one atom thick. The continuously twisting stacks of two-dimensional…

Big-hearted corvids

Social life as a driving factor of birds’ generosity. Ravens, crows, magpies and their relatives are known for their exceptional intelligence, which allows them to solve complex problems, use tools…

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close