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.

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 23, 2014 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 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur on Monday when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Drake University hosts 35th annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) One Florida fisherman caught a 805-pound shark off the coast of Florida earlier this month. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier

Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier

AP (Apr. 21, 2014) Breakfast is now being served with a side of sticker shock. The cost of morning staples like bacon, coffee and orange juice is on the rise because of global supply problems. (April 21) Video provided by AP
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