home   genetic news   bioinformatics   biotechnology   literature   journals   ethics   positions   events   sitemap
 
  HUM-MOLGEN -> Genetic News | search  
 

Molecular ID Codes

 
  July, 2 2001 2:32
your information resource in human molecular genetics
 
     
Molecular ID Codes

Existing ways of labeling and visualizing DNA and protein molecules rely on a limited palette of radioactive elements, chemical dyes, or natural fluorescent protein molecules, such as green fluorescent protein. Biological research urgently needs a wider array of reliable, robust, and safe labeling molecules to facilitate studies for determining the types of molecules present in a cell, their cellular location, activity, and concentration. Now, a team of scientists led by Shuming Nie of Indiana University has invented a way to bar code DNA using tiny light-emitting crystals known as quantum dots. By embedding these quantum dots in microbeads bearing short strands of DNA, the researchers have created labels that can recognize particular DNA molecules of interest and tag them with a unique identification code (Nature Biotechnology, Vol. 19, No. 7, 01 July 2001).

Alternative labeling techniques, which often rely on radioactivity or organic dyes, have several drawbacks: Radioactive markers can have short half-lives and are toxic, while organic dyes come in a limited number of colors and may lose their glow too quickly. Quantum-dot microbeads are superior to these approaches in several ways. For instance, compared with organic dyes, quantum dots are brighter, more stable, and give sharper signals. Moreover, the color of a quantum dot can easily be changed by changing its size, yet differently colored dots can all be excited by a single wavelength of light-an approach not possible with other labeling systems.

The researchers predict that several tens of thousands of uniquely coded beads could be built using different combinations of colors and intensity levels. These molecular ID codes could then be used to simultaneously analyze a large number of molecules. Ultimately, the codes should be easily be tagged onto both nucleic acids and proteins-facilitating research in many areas of biomedical research, including drug screening, gene expression studies, and clinical diagnostics.

Contact: (author)
Shuming Nie
Department of Chemistry
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405
Email Address: nie@indiana.edu


(News & Views author)
Sandra J. Rosenthal
Department of Chemistry
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN 37235
Email Address: sjr@femto.cas.vanderbilt.edu

(C) Nature Biotechnology press release.


Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

print this article mail this article
Bookmark and Share this page (what is this?)

Social bookmarking allows users to save and categorise a personal collection of bookmarks and share them with others. This is different to using your own browser bookmarks which are available using the menus within your web browser.

Use the links below to share this article on the social bookmarking site of your choice.

Read more about social bookmarking at Wikipedia - Social Bookmarking

Latest News
Variants Associated with Pediatric Allergic Disorder

Mutations in PHF6 Found in T-Cell Leukemia

Genetic Risk Variant for Urinary Bladder Cancer

Antibody Has Therapeutic Effect on Mice with ALS

Regulating P53 Activity in Cancer Cells

Anti-RNA Therapy Counters Breast Cancer Spread

Mitochondrial DNA Diversity

The Power of RNA Sequencing

‘Pro-Ageing' Therapy for Cancer?

Niche Genetics Influence Leukaemia

Molecular Biology: Clinical Promise for RNA Interference

Chemoprevention Cocktail for Colon Cancer

more news ...

Generated by News Editor 2.0 by Kai Garlipp
WWW: Kai Garlipp, Frank S. Zollmann.
7.0 © 1995-2016 HUM-MOLGEN. All rights reserved. Liability, Copyright and Imprint.