DNA reference tags allow single-molecule research on complex genomes
By Itza Montforte, web writer
Yuval Ebenstein, a scientist whose previous work was on Quantum dots light up individual DNA binding proteins recently shown that proteins bound to DNA can be located very accurately by direct imaging. The precision of the measurement presents new opportunities for contextual genomic research on the single-molecule level. It was also improved the dependance on the ends of the DNA for mapping. On earlier works, the DNA used was simply the one of viruses and bacterias while this new technology alows to work on more complex genomes such as the human genome.
In order to do this, the scientists use an enzime to attach a biotin to specific sequences in a vial genome, then quantum dots are sent to attach on the biotin and create a fluorescence along the genome. All this to accurately map the positions of individual RNA polumerases sitting on the genome and labeled with quantum dots of different color.
Quoting the author of this experiment. "As a single molecule approach we hope to be able to detect very rare genomic configurations that are usually hidden in the noise of conventional bulk methods for mapping DNA binding proteins. This could have impact in diagnostics and personalized medicine."
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