DNA with the naked eye

  July 7/14, 2008
Researchers have come a long way in being able to detect subtle details of DNA molecules that show disease or susceptibility to diseases, but the detection methods usually involve sophisticated laboratory equipment that's beyond the reach of most medical clinics and much of the developing world.

A DNA microarray that uses electrostatic interaction between microscopic glass spheres and DNA molecules on the surface of a biochip to detect specific types of DNA makes it possible to observe the results with the unaided eye. The device has the potential to spread advanced medical diagnostics and research well beyond well-funded laboratories.

Research paper:
Electrostatic Readout of DNA Microarrays with Charged Microspheres
Nature Biotechnology, published online June 29, 2008

Researchers' homepages:
Nathan Clack
Jay T. Groves

Related stories and briefs:
Snip-and-tag DNA sequencing
Parallel processing of DNA

Back to TRN July 7/14, 2008

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