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MitoChip v2.0 – the new Mitochondrial DNA sequencing too

The latest versions of High-tech laboratory tools such as computers with greater analytical capacities are updated publicly. The NIH grantees have developed a second// generation "lab on a silicon chip" called the MitoChip v2.0. This can for the first time sequence all mitochondrial DNA quickly and reliably. Their report will be published in the September issue of the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.

The mitochondria have their own DNA distinct from that stored in the cell nucleus. They are the energy-producing organelles in our cells. The authors say their full-sequence chip will be a key tool in accelerating research on mitochondrial DNA, a growing area of scientific interest. This interest stems from data that suggests natural sequence variations and/or mutations in each person's mitochondrial DNA could be biologically informative in fields as diverse as cancer diagnostics, gerontology, and criminal forensics.

According to Dr. Joseph Califano, a scientist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore and senior author on the paper, the MitoChip v2.0 showed in his group's hands better sensitivity that its predecessor to sequence variations in head and neck cancer samples. The v2.0 also detected nearly three dozen variations in the non-coding D-loop, long considered to be a sequencing no-man's land and which the original MitoChip did not include.

"At this point, we don't foresee a MitoChip v3.0," said Califano, whose research was supported by the NIH's National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. "The v2.0 is a very good tool in that we've also arrayed 500 of the most common haplotypes - or grouped patterns of known DNA variations - banked in the mitochondrial public database."

Mitochondria are oblong, thread-like structures dispersed throughout the cell's cytoplasm. Hundreds to thousands of mitochondria exist in each human cell, occupying up to a quarter of their cytoplasm. Sometimes informally desc
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