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Light switch controls genes

  January 19/26, 2009
Attach short strands of RNA to gold nanoparticles and you have a gene-silencing remote control.

Shining infrared light on the RNA-coated the nanoparticles detaches the RNA. Doing so when the nanoparticles are inside cells allows the RNA strands to silence genes in the cells.

Gene silencing is an experimental medical treatment and the subject of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Research paper:
Remote Optical Switch for Localized and Selective Control of Gene Interference
Nano Letters, published online January 7, 2009

Researchers' homepages:
Biologically-inspired Photonics-Optofluidic-Electronic Technology and Science
Gang "Logan" Liu

Back to TRN January 19/26, 2009

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