Navigation Links
UN successfully tests 'green' pesticide against locusts

A new method for manipulating macromolecules has been developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The technique uses double-stranded DNA to direct the behavior of other molecules.

In previous DNA nanotechnology efforts, duplex DNA has been used as a static lattice to construct geometrical objects in three dimensions. Instead of manipulating DNA alone into such shapes, the researchers are using DNA to control the folding and resulting structure of RNA. Eventually, they envision building supramolecular machines whose inner workings are governed by twisted strands of DNA.

In a paper that has been accepted for publication in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, and posted on its Web site, Silverman and graduate student Chandrasekhar Miduturu begin with a piece of unfolded RNA. Through specific chemical reactions, they attach two strands of DNA, each resembling one side of a ladder. The two DNA strands spontaneously bind together, then the researchers add magnesium ions to initiate folding of the RNA.

"Folding of the RNA structure competes with formation of the DNA constraint until a chemical balance is reached," Silverman said. "In some cases, the DNA is like a barnacle, just stuck onto the RNA without perturbing its structure. In other cases, the DNA changes the RNA structure. We can predict which situation will occur based on the shape of the RNA and on the attachment points of the DNA constraint."

In cases where the normal RNA shape and the DNA constraint cannot co-exist simultaneously, the balance between competing RNA and DNA structures is controlled by the concentration of magnesium ions, Silverman said.

In work not yet published, the researchers have also shown that the effects of the DNA constraint on the RNA structure can be modulated by external stimuli such as DNA oligonucleotide strands, protein enzymes and chemical reagents.

While Silverman and Miduturu are currently usi ng RNA as a proof of principle for their DNA constraint studies, they also plan to use the new technique to more effectively study the folding process of RNA. Because they can control RNA structure precisely, they could generate and examine biologically relevant folded and misfolded RNAs. They could also hook the DNA constraints to other molecules, including non-biological macromolecules, to control their folding.

Importantly, the process of manipulating macromolecules with DNA constraints can be either reversible or irreversible, depending on which chemical trigger is used. Like a switch, a particular molecular shape could be turned on and off.

"Another key aspect of DNA constraints is their programmability," Silverman said. "By placing two or more constraints on one molecule, we could generate multiple molecular states that would be programmable by DNA sequence. In other efforts, we would like to control macroscopic assembly processes by influencing the shapes of self-assembling molecular components."



Related biology news :

1. New, automated tool successfully classifies and relates proteins in unprecedented way
2. Biomarkers isolated from saliva successfully predict oral and breast cancer
3. Stem cell therapy successfully treats heart attack in animals
4. Mad cow proteins successfully detected in blood
5. Israeli scientists successfully transplant frozen-thawed ovaries in sheep
6. Magnetic probe successfully tracks implanted cells in cancer patients
7. Transgenic plants remove more selenium from polluted soil than wild plants, new tests show
8. Human trial proves ricin vaccine safe, induces neutralizing antibodies; further tests planned
9. Free HIV tests cheaper than charging when goal is preventing AIDS
10. Embryo tests give parents the choice
11. Chemical tests of cell growth enter third dimension
Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/29/2015)... YORK , Oct. 29, 2015 ... technology, announced a partnership with 2XU, a global ... to deliver a smart hat with advanced bio-sensing ... and other athletes to monitor key biometrics to ... the strategic partnership, the two companies will bring together ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... BERLIN, Germany , October 27, 2015 ... 2015. SMI,s Automated Semantic Gaze Mapping technology (ASGM) automatically ... SMI,s Eye Tracking Glasses , so that ... Suite BeGaze. --> Munich, Germany ... technology (ASGM) automatically maps data from mobile eye tracking ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... India , October 26, 2015 ... --> adds ... 2015 to 2021 as well as ... 2015-2019 research reports to its collection ... . --> ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS) (TSX: ... behalf of the Toronto Stock Exchange, confirms that as ... no corporate developments that would cause the recent movements ... --> About Aeterna Zentaris Inc. ... --> Aeterna Zentaris is a specialty biopharmaceutical company ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... This fall, global software solutions leader SAP ... states to develop and pitch their BIG ideas to improve health and wellness in ... for votes to win the title of SAP's Teen Innovator, an all-expenses paid trip ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , November 24, 2015 ... market research report released by Transparency Market Research, the ... at a CAGR of 17.5% during the period between ... Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Volume, Share, Growth, ... non-invasive prenatal testing market to reach a valuation of ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Twist Bioscience, ... that Emily Leproust, Ph.D., Twist Bioscience chief executive ... Healthcare Conference on December 1, 2015 at 3:10 ... in New York City. --> ... . Twist Bioscience is on Twitter. Sign ...
Breaking Biology Technology: