New nanotechnology able to examine single molecules, aiding in determining gene expression

January 24, 2007

A new nanotechnology that can examine single molecules in order to determine gene expression, paving the way for scientists to more accurately examine single cancer cells, has been developed by an interdisciplinary team of researchers at UCLA's California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI), New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, and Veeco Instruments, a nanotechnology company.

Their work appears in the January issue of the journal Nanotechnology.

Previously, researchers have been able to determine gene expression using microarray technology or DNA sequencing. However, such processes could not effectively measure single gene transcripts—the building blocks of gene expression. With their new approach, the researchers of the work reported in Nanotechnology were able to isolate and identify individual transcript molecules—a sensitivity not achieved with earlier methods.

"Gene expression profiling is used widely in basic biological research and drug discovery," said Jason Reed of UCLA's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the study's lead author. "Scientists have been hampered in their efforts to unlock the secrets of gene transcription in individual cells by the minute amount of material that must be analyzed. Nanotechnology allows us to push down to the level of individual transcript molecules."

"We are likely to see more of these kinds of highly multi-disciplinary research aimed at single molecule sequencing, genomics, epigenomic, and proteomic analysis in the future," added Bud Mishra, a professor of Computer Science, Mathematics, and Cell Biology from NYU's Courant Institute and School of Medicine. "The most exciting aspect of this approach is that as we understand how to intelligently combine various components of genomics, robotics, informatics, and nanotechnology—the so-called GRIN technology—the resulting systems will become simple, inexpensive, and commonplace."

Source: New York University

Explore further: Nanoparticles used to breach mucus barrier in lungs

Related Stories

Nanoparticles used to breach mucus barrier in lungs

August 3, 2015

Nanotechnology could one day provide an inhaled vehicle to deliver targeted therapeutic genes for those suffering from life-threatening lung disorders. Researchers may have discovered first gene delivery system that efficiently ...

Using gold nanoprobes to unlock your genetic profile

May 29, 2014

A fast and cost-effective genetic test to determine the correct dosage of blood thinning drugs for the treatment of stroke, heart problems and deep vein thrombosis has been developed by researchers at the Institute of Bioengineering ...

DNA double helix measurements

May 15, 2014

Researchers at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN) have determined the structure of DNA from measurements on a single molecule using atomic force microscopy (AFM), and found ...

Recommended for you

An engineered surface unsticks sticky water droplets

August 31, 2015

The leaves of the lotus flower, and other natural surfaces that repel water and dirt, have been the model for many types of engineered liquid-repelling surfaces. As slippery as these surfaces are, however, tiny water droplets ...

Electrical circuit made of gel can repair itself

August 25, 2015

(Phys.org)—Scientists have fabricated a flexible electrical circuit that, when cut into two pieces, can repair itself and fully restore its original conductivity. The circuit is made of a new gel that possesses a combination ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.