Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers perform DNA computation in living cells

Date:
July 10, 2013
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
Chemists have performed a DNA-based logic-gate operation within a human cell. The research may pave the way to more complicated computations in live cells, as well as new methods of disease detection and treatment.

Representation of a Boolean AND gate within a living cell. MicroRNA inputs lead to output in the form of a fluorescent molecule.
Credit: Image courtesy of North Carolina State University

Chemists from North Carolina State University have performed a DNA-based logic-gate operation within a human cell. The research may pave the way to more complicated computations in live cells, as well as new methods of disease detection and treatment.

Related Articles


Logic gates are the means by which computers "compute," as sets of them are combined in different ways to enable computers to ultimately perform tasks like addition or subtraction. In DNA computing, these gates are created by combining different strands of DNA, rather than a series of transistors. However, thus far DNA computation events have typically taken place in a test tube, rather than in living cells.

NC State chemist Alex Deiters and graduate student James Hemphill wanted to see if a DNA-based logic gate could detect the presence of specific microRNAs in human cells. The researchers utilized a DNA-based logic gate known as an "AND" gate that was engineered to respond to the presence of two specific microRNAs -- known as miRNA-21 and miRNA-122.

Just as computer operations utilize different inputs to create a particular output, the researchers' DNA-based Boolean logic gate was activated only when both miRNA-21 and miRNA-122 "inputs" were present in cells. If they were present, the gate generated an "output" by releasing a fluorescent molecule.

Deiters believes that use of these logic gates could lead to more accurate tests and treatments for human disease, especially cancer.

"The fluorescent molecule we used in this logic-gate design could be useful as a marker that identifies a cancer cell," he says. "Or, instead of directing the gate to release a fluorescent molecule in the presence of particular microRNAs, we could attach therapeutic agents that are released to treat the disease itself."

Their results appear in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The research was funded in part by grants from the American Chemical Society and the American Cancer Society.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. James Hemphill, Alexander Deiters. DNA Computation in Mammalian Cells: MicroRNA Logic Operations. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2013; 130709112444006 DOI: 10.1021/ja404350s

Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "Researchers perform DNA computation in living cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130710142023.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2013, July 10). Researchers perform DNA computation in living cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130710142023.htm
North Carolina State University. "Researchers perform DNA computation in living cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130710142023.htm (accessed April 20, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, April 20, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2015) Five years on, the possible environmental impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill includes a sustained die-off of bottlenose dolphins, among others. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) On April 20, 2010, an explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico started the biggest oil spill in US history. BP recently reported the Gulf is recovering well, but scientists paint a different picture. Duration: 02:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thai Customs Seize African Elephant Tusks Worth $6 Mn

Thai Customs Seize African Elephant Tusks Worth $6 Mn

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) Thai customs seize four tonnes of African elephant ivory worth $6 million at a Bangkok port in a container labelled as beans. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 17, 2015) A truck carrying honey bees overturns near Lynnwood, Washington, spreading boxes of live bees across the highway. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
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


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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