Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Untangling DNA: The channel that relaxes DNA

Date:
August 20, 2014
Source:
Sissa Medialab
Summary:
A simple and effective way of unraveling the often tangled mass of DNA is to “thread” the strand into a nano-channel. A new study used simulations to measure the characteristics that this channel should have in order to achieve maximum efficiency.

This is DNA in a nanochannel.
Credit: SISSA

A simple and effective way of unravelling the often tangled mass of DNA is to "thread" the strand into a nano-channel. A study carried out with the participation of the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste used simulations to measure the characteristics that this channel should have in order to achieve maximum efficiency.

With the widespread use of methods for DNA analysis and manipulation, it's certainly useful to find a way to unravel and relax the strands of this molecule that tends to form tangles spontaneously. One way is to use channels, or rather nano-channels, as Cristian Micheletti, SISSA research scientist, and Enzo Orlandini, of Padua University, did in a study just published in the journal Macro Letters.

The idea is to force the DNA into the channel so as to relax it completely. "But not just any channel will do," explains Micheletti. "Depending on the diameter of the nano-channel, the strand extremities can arrange into hook-like structures that will end up forming a knot."

"In our study we used simulation techniques to characterise the mechanisms leading to knot formation as a function of the diameter of the channel," Micheletti continues.

The result? "Below 50 nanometres in diameter the tendency to form knots decreases dramatically." Thanks to these observations it is possible to design channels having the ideal characteristics for achieving a nicely stretched out DNA strand, free of the entanglements that can hinder many methods for genetic analysis.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Cristian Micheletti, Enzo Orlandini. Knotting and Unknotting Dynamics of DNA Strands in Nanochannels. ACS Macro Letters, 2014; 876 DOI: 10.1021/mz500402s

Cite This Page:

Sissa Medialab. "Untangling DNA: The channel that relaxes DNA." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140820091307.htm>.
Sissa Medialab. (2014, August 20). Untangling DNA: The channel that relaxes DNA. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140820091307.htm
Sissa Medialab. "Untangling DNA: The channel that relaxes DNA." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140820091307.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 18, 2014) Researchers at The National University of Singapore have invented a new microneedle patch that could offer a faster and less painful delivery of drugs such as insulin and painkillers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at a Dallas hospital walked down the stairs of an executive jet into an ambulance at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday. Pham will be treated at the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
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


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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