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Tracking down pathogenic yeasts
Date:9/28/2010

rchers are working with system biology scenarios that they hope will help explain the essential pathogenic mechanisms. The researchers start off by isolating the mRNA, i.e., the copies of all of the active genes, from the human pathogenic yeasts. Then they transform the mRNA into DNA to subsequently fragment and sequence them. What's tricky with this Next-Generation sequencing is the fact that it is not just a couple of fragments that are sequenced, but millions of DNA fragments simultaneously. A single strand of DNA acts as a matrix and an enzyme resynthesizes the second DNA strand on it, one building block after another in a very tight space. To follow this process, each of the four different building blocks (the bases adenine A, guanine G, cytosine C or thymine T) is marked with a different fluorescent dye, and a detector captures all of the various light signals. This is how the sequence of bases can be read from each fragment. The stupendous quantities of data are then analyzed with bioinformational techniques, and researchers can directly discover which genes are still active.

Biologist Christian Grumaz of the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology provides an explanation for this: "At top speed, we can use this Next-Generation DNA sequencer to simultaneously sequence as many as 100 million DNA fragments with a reading length of up to 500 bases." His institute colleague Dr. Kai Sohn adds, "For the first time, this method enables us to simultaneously obtain both highly sensitive transcription profiles from human pathogenic fungi and infected host cells." Researchers are hoping that this will enable them to draw key conclusions on why the fungus is so dangerous for certain persons with a weakened immunological system.

Scientists will be unveiling their findings at the joint Fraunhofer stand in Hall 9, Stand 30 while graphically demonstrating the huge amounts of data that Next-Generation sequencing supplies. Beyond th
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Contact: Christian Grumaz
christian.grumaz@igb.fraunhofer.de
49-711-970-4171
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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