Navigation Links
New tool developed for DNA research

Luminescent markers are an indispensable tool for researchers working with DNA. But the markers are troublesome. Some tend to destroy the function and structure of DNA when inserted. Others emit so little light, that they can barely be detected in the hereditary material. So researchers have been asking for alternative markers.

Now a PhD student at the University of Copenhagen has developed a tool in collaboration with researchers at Chalmers Technical University, which might save both problems: A tool that you might call a molecular gauge.

PhD student Soren Preus has investigated the properties of the two luminescent so called DNA base analogues tCO and tCnitro trying to determine whether they could measure the structure of DNA without disrupting it. His scrutiny has shown that the function of DNA is unimpeded by the insertion of the molecular gauge. And even better: One base analogue is very efficient at emitting light, and the other very good at receiving it. And because you can provoke transport of light-energy between the two luminescent markers they are usable for a measuring technique known as FRET or Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer.

In brief FRET measurements are performed by forcing two luminescent markers to transfer light-energy from one to the other, and then measuring the efficiency of the transfer.

The two different markers are placed in the DNA-helix. When they are subjected to a lightpulse one marker (tCO) emits part of the energy to the other (tCnitro). This energy transfer can be measured. And by calculating backwards it is possible obtain very exact information about the distance and angle that the two have relative to one another.

Knowing distance and angle of the markers allows for calculations of distance and angle of all the natural base pairs in the DNA structure. And with that the researcher can put together a picture showing every twist and turn of the structure. Because structure and function are closely related in DNA, the method holds the potential to reveal new insights into the workings of DNA.

FRET-measurements are not a new phenomenon. What's new is, that Soren Preus has developed one of the base analogues tCnitro in collaboration with Swedish research institution Chalmers University of Technology. But even more important is the fact, that Mr Preus has used the facilities of the Molecular Engineering Group at University of Copenhagen to analyse every aspect of the energy-transfer between the two markers, because this allows future DNA-researchers to translate measurements to structure.

Mr. Preus hopes that the new tool might find its use in characterising the structural changes that take place when a protein binds to DNA or RNA as that could explain basic cellular mechanisms. But equally important: The molecular gauge can be used to examine exactly how new drugs work, when they bind to DNA or RNA.


Contact: Jes Andersen
University of Copenhagen

Related biology news :

1. UC-developed technology to assist research and genetic drug delivery
2. Novel antitoxin strategy developed using tagged binding agents
3. Yale-developed test can help predict and diagnose preeclampsia
4. No muss, no fuss miniaturized analysis for complex samples developed
5. Early life on Earth may have developed more quickly than thought
6. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev technology being developed for use in Jordan desalination plant
7. Silicon with afterburners: Process developed at Rice could be boon to electronics manufacturer
8. Skin-like tissue developed from human embryonic stem cells
9. Improved method developed to test carcinogen risk
10. Brain-computer interface, developed at Brown, begins new clinical trial
11. Next-generation software system for flood warning and risk analysis to be developed
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/16/2015)... Calif. , Nov 16, 2015  Synaptics ... of human interface solutions, today announced expansion of ... TouchView ™ touch controller and display driver ... revolution of smartphones. These new TDDI products add ... TD4100 (HD resolution), TD4302 (WQHD resolution), and TD4322 ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... , Nov. 10, 2015  In this ... the basis of product, type, application, disease ... in this report are consumables, services, software. ... are safety biomarkers, efficacy biomarkers, and validation ... report are diagnostics development, drug discovery and ...
(Date:11/2/2015)... , Nov. 2, 2015  SRI International has ... to provide preclinical development services to the National Cancer ... SRI will provide scientific expertise, modern testing and support ... of preclinical pharmacology and toxicology studies to evaluate potential ... --> The PREVENT Cancer Drug Development Program is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... 30, 2015  AbbVie, is introducing Good Morning ... a daily routine for managing the life-long condition of ... affect the way the body absorbs it so resources ... daily routine are important. The goal of the new ... manage their hypothyroidism by establishing a daily routine, spirit ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... HACKENSACK, N.J. and PETACH TIKVAH, Israel ... Inc. (NASDAQ: BCLI ), a leading developer of ... its wholly-owned subsidiary, Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics Ltd., has been awarded ... Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS). This grant, ... to Brainstorm for 2015 activities to approximately $1.8 million (approximately ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , November 27, 2015 ... Growing popularity of companion diagnostics is ... cancer biomarkers market with pharmaceutical companies and ... companion diagnostic tests. . ... Complete report on global cancer biomarkers ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Md. , Nov. 25, 2015  PharmAthene, Inc. ... Directors has adopted a stockholder rights plan (Rights Plan) ... net operating loss carryforwards (NOLs) under Section 382 of ... --> PharmAthene,s use of its NOLs ... "ownership change" as defined in Section 382 of the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: