Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Find New Way To Manipulate DNA

Date:
November 16, 2006
Source:
University of Michigan
Summary:
Polymers, large molecules comprised of chains of repeating structures, are used in everything from the coatings on walls of ships and pipes to reduce flow drag to gene therapy.

The U-M team discovered that flow turbulence did indeed exist and that it was impacting the polymer quite a bit. Through experiments that accounted for turbulent flow, the researchers were able to develop and test formulas for different polymers, and pinpoint exactly how they would react to different flows.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Michigan

Polymers, large molecules comprised of chains of repeating structures, are used in everything from the coatings on walls of ships and pipes to reduce flow drag to gene therapy.

But long polymer chains are subject to breakage, called scission, and a new study by the University of Michigan shows that as it turns out, much of what scientists previously thought about why polymers break when subjected to strong flows, such as waves crashing against a ship's bow, was wrong.

This is important for a few reasons, said Michael Solomon, associate professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Macromolecular Science and Engineering Program. Broken polymers don't function as intended, and if scientists don't know what causes them to break, they can't keep them from breaking, nor can they design them to break in specific places.

For the past 40 years, scientists have not understood exactly which forces caused scission, said Solomon, who is the co-author on a paper published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper, "Universal scaling for polymer chain scission in turbulence," defines which flow forces and at what levels those forces cause polymers to break in turbulence.

"This paper understands how they are breaking in a new way that resolves some issues that have been present for 40 years," Solomon said.

The experiments that yielded the prevailing scission theories, Solomon said, did not take into account turbulence in the flow that occurred during the experiments, and how that turbulence attributed to polymers breaking. Those experiments measured only laminar or smooth flow, which is turbulent free.

Yet, during their own experiments, the U-M team discovered that flow turbulence did indeed exist and that it was impacting the polymer quite a bit. Through experiments that accounted for turbulent flow, Solomon and co-authors Steven Ceccio, with appointments in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, and then-doctoral student Siva Vanapalli, were able to develop and test formulas for different polymers, and pinpoint exactly how they would react to different flows. Vanapalli is now a post-doctoral fellow at Twente University in the Netherlands.

The equation they developed can be applied to design flows that break polymers into certain lengths, or to design polymers to withstand certain flows. This could have big implications for industries that rely on polymer coatings, such as shipping or oil.

"When the polymers are working their best the friction can be reduced by 70 percent," Ceccio said.

The research also has implications in the field of gene therapy, allowing scientists another tool to control the length of the strands of DNA. In genome sequencing, the first step is to take the genome and break it into small pieces to reassemble it into the DNA strand that is best for further biochemistry, Solomon said.

The research is supported by the Department of Defense. It's part of a larger project to examine many kinds of friction drag, and the U-M team has been conducting experiments at the William B. Morgan Large Cavitation Channel, a Navy-owned facility in Tennessee.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Michigan. "Scientists Find New Way To Manipulate DNA." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 November 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061116081923.htm>.
University of Michigan. (2006, November 16). Scientists Find New Way To Manipulate DNA. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061116081923.htm
University of Michigan. "Scientists Find New Way To Manipulate DNA." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061116081923.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) Japan's bullet train turns 50 Wednesday. Here's a look at how it's changed over half a century — and the changes it's inspired globally. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) Police body cameras are gradually being rolled out across the US, with interest surging after the fatal police shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) A ceremony marking 50 years since Japan launched its Shinkansen bullet train was held on Wednesday in Tokyo. The latest model can travel from Tokyo to Osaka, a distance of 319 miles, in two hours and 25 minutes. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins