Researchers demonstrate new DNA detection technique

Dec 16, 2011

A team of researchers from the University of Notre Dame have demonstrated a novel DNA detection method that could prove suitable for many real-world applications.

Physicists Carol Tanner and Steven Ruggiero led the team in the application of a new technique called laser transmission spectroscopy (LTS). LTS is capable of rapidly determining the size, shape and number of in suspension.

In a new paper appearing in the international, peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication PLoS ONE, the team describes how they applied LTS as a novel method for detecting species-specific DNA where the presence of one invasive species was differentiated from a closely related invasive sister species.

The research was carried out in support of and cooperation with Notre Dame's Environmental Change Initiative (ECI). Scientists from ECI are using environmental DNA (eDNA) as part of their surveillance of in the Great Lakes region.

The results of the research demonstrate the basic premise of DNA detection by LTS in the laboratory.

The Notre Dame research team points out that the LTS technique has many benefits over established DNA detection techniques. The technique is highly sensitive and takes only a few seconds to genetically score a sample for species presence or absence. The researchers also feel that LTS technology will prove much more rapid, practical and cost effective than current detection methodologies and could ultimately reach the sensitivity required to eliminate the need for (PCR) amplification.

Although the current paper describes the use of LTS is detection, the Notre Dame researchers believe that the technique could serve as an important tool in detecting and understanding and indicating the presence of such as cancer.

The Notre Dame group is investigating the real-world applications of LTS technology generally and working on transitioning its success from the lab to the field.

Explore further: How sweet it is: New tool for characterizing plant sugar transporters

Related Stories

Study validates Asian carp research

Jan 05, 2011

The use of environmental DNA (eDNA) by scientists from the University of Notre Dame and The Nature Conservancy to detect invasive Asian carp in the Chicago-area waterway has been validated in Conservation Letters, a new ...

Argonne, Notre Dame begin new nuclear theory initiative

Oct 05, 2005

Physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Notre Dame have begun a new collaborative project to explore and explain the physics of rare nuclear isotopes.

Early detection of human papilloma and other viral infections

Oct 15, 2007

Scientists in Iowa are reporting development of a new, amazingly sensitive method for identifying the earliest stages of infection with human papilloma virus (HPV), a common virus that can increase the risk of cervical cancer ...

Recommended for you

Getting a jump on plant-fungal interactions

9 hours ago

Fungal plant pathogens may need more flexible genomes in order to fully benefit from associating with their hosts. Transposable elements are commonly found with genes involved in symbioses.

The microbes make the sake brewery

Jul 24, 2014

A sake brewery has its own microbial terroir, meaning the microbial populations found on surfaces in the facility resemble those found in the product, creating the final flavor according to research published ahead of print ...

User comments : 0