Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Direct Sequencing Of DNA, RNA Using Novel Technique

Date:
February 3, 2008
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
The genetic alphabet contains four letters. Although our cells can readily decipher our genetic molecules, it isn't so easy for us to read a DNA sequence in the laboratory. Scientists require complex, highly sophisticated analytical techniques to crack individual DNA codes. Now, scientists have recently developed a method that could provide a way to directly sequence DNA. Their process is based on a combination of Raman spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy. They have successfully analyzed DNA's closest relative, RNA.

The genetic alphabet contains four letters. Although our cells can readily decipher our genetic molecules, it isn’t so easy for us to read a DNA sequence in the laboratory. Scientists require complex, highly sophisticated analytical techniques to crack individual DNA codes. Volker Deckert and his team at the Institute for Analytical Sciences (ISAS) in Dortmund have recently developed a method that could provide a way to directly sequence DNA. Their process is based on a combination of Raman spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy. They have successfully analyzed DNA’s closest relative, RNA.

Direct sequencing means that the letters of the genetic code are read directly, as if with a magnifying glass. A DNA or RNA strand has a diameter of only two nanometers, so the magnification must be correspondingly powerful. Deckert’s team uses an atomic force microscope to achieve this degree of magnification. Steered by the microscope, a tiny, silvered glass tip moves over the RNA strand.

A laser beam focused on the tip excites the section of the strand being examined and starts it vibrating. The spectrum of the scattered light (Raman spectrum) gives very precise information about the molecular structure of the segment. Each genetic “letter”, that is, each of the nucleic acids, vibrates differently and thus has a characteristic spectral “fingerprint”.

The direct resolution of individual bases has not been attainable, but is also not necessary. The tip only has to be moved over the RNA strand at intervals corresponding to about the base-to-base distance. Even if the measured data then consist of overlapped spectra from several neighboring bases, the information can be used to derive the sequence of the RNA.

If this method, known as tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS), can be extended to DNA, it could revolutionize the decoding of genetic information. Previous methods for sequencing DNA are highly complex, work indirectly, and require a large sample of genetic material. In contrast, the TERS technique developed by Deckert directly “reads” the code without chemical agents or detours. It also requires only a single strand of DNA. “DNA sequencing could become very simple,” says Deckert, “like reading a barcode at the supermarket.”

Journal article: Deckert, Volker and Bailo, Elena. Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy of Single RNA Strands: Towards a Novel Direct-Sequencing Method. Angewandte Chemie International Edition. doi: 10.1002/anie.200704054


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Direct Sequencing Of DNA, RNA Using Novel Technique." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080128113219.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2008, February 3). Direct Sequencing Of DNA, RNA Using Novel Technique. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080128113219.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Direct Sequencing Of DNA, RNA Using Novel Technique." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080128113219.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The New York Times Backs Pot Legalization

The New York Times Backs Pot Legalization

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The New York Times has officially endorsed the legalization of marijuana, but why now, and to what end? Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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