Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Discovery could help bring down price of DNA sequencing

Abstract:
In May, Nobel Laureate James D. Watson, the scientist who co-discovered the structure of DNA, became the first person to receive his own complete personal genome -- all three billion base pairs of his DNA code sequenced. The cost was $1 million, and the process took two months.

Discovery could help bring down price of DNA sequencing

EVANSTON, IL | Posted on June 29th, 2007

A million dollars for a map of all your genes is way out of reach for most people. The National Institutes of Health would like to bring it down to $1,000 by the year 2014, but plenty of technological hurdles remain before you'll be able to secure your genetic blueprint for this more affordable price.

One promising method for speeding up DNA sequencing, and thus reducing its cost, is nanopore sequencing, where DNA moves through a tiny hole, much like thread going through a needle. The technique can detect individual DNA molecules, but the DNA gallops through so fast that it is impossible to read the individual letters, or bases, and determine the sequence. (The four letters of the genomic alphabet are A, T, G and C, each representing one of the base nucleotides that make up DNA.)

Using a theory based on classical hydrodynamics, a Northwestern University researcher now has explained the nature of the resistive force that determines the speed of the DNA as it moves through the nanopore, which is just five to 10 nanometers wide. (One nanometer is a billionth of a meter.) This understanding could help scientists figure out how to slow the DNA down enough to make it readable and usable -- for medical and biotechnology applications, in particular.

Sandip Ghosal, associate professor of mechanical engineering in Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, is the first to apply classical hydrodynamics to the interaction of DNA with a nanopore. The findings, an important step toward achieving single-base resolution in nanopore sequencing, were published in the June 8 issue of the journal Physical Review Letters (PRL).

"DNA is pulled through the nanopore's channel by an electric force, but there also is a resistive force," said Ghosal, sole author of the PRL paper. "My idea was that the resistance was coming from fluid friction, which could explain the speed measurements taken in experimental studies."

In Ghosal's explanation, the DNA pulls some of the fluid surrounding the molecule through the channel with it. The lubrication forces arising in this fluid layer create the resistance that opposes the electrical pulling force. Ghosal's calculations in the PRL paper show that his theoretical model is consistent with experimental results and explains the DNA's speed.

"Understanding the mechanics of DNA translocation will allow scientists to make alterations, to figure out how to apply more friction," said Ghosal, who has proposed using a coating on the channel walls to slow down the flow of the DNA.

A copy of the Physical Review Letters paper can be viewed at http://www.mech.northwestern.edu/fac/ghosal/ghosal_publications.htm .

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Megan Fellman
(847) 491-3115


Sandip Ghosal
847-467-5990

Copyright © Northwestern University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Nanomedicine

New metamaterial-enhanced MRI technique tested on humans May 26th, 2017

Controlling 3-D behavior of biological cells using laser holographic techniques May 26th, 2017

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria: Rice, Ben-Gurion universities show laser-induced graphene kills bacteria, resists biofouling May 22nd, 2017

Sensors detect disease markers in breath May 19th, 2017

Discoveries

Ag/ZnO-Nanorods Schottky diodes based UV-PDs are fabricated and tested May 26th, 2017

New metamaterial-enhanced MRI technique tested on humans May 26th, 2017

Controlling 3-D behavior of biological cells using laser holographic techniques May 26th, 2017

Unveiling the quantum necklace: Researchers simulate quantum necklace-like structures in superfluids May 26th, 2017

Announcements

Ag/ZnO-Nanorods Schottky diodes based UV-PDs are fabricated and tested May 26th, 2017

New metamaterial-enhanced MRI technique tested on humans May 26th, 2017

Controlling 3-D behavior of biological cells using laser holographic techniques May 26th, 2017

Unveiling the quantum necklace: Researchers simulate quantum necklace-like structures in superfluids May 26th, 2017

Human Interest/Art

Weizmann Institute of Science Presents: Weizmann Wonder Wander - 4G - is Online June 21st, 2016

Call for NanoArt and Art-Science-Technology Papers June 9th, 2016

Scientists propose non-animal tools for assessing the toxicity of nanomaterials: Particle and Fibre Toxicology publishes recommendations from expert group meeting April 26th, 2016

Are humans the new supercomputer?Today, people of all backgrounds can contribute to solving serious scientific problems by playing computer games. A Danish research group has extended the limits of quantum physics calculations and simultaneously blurred the boundaries between mac April 14th, 2016

Nanobiotechnology

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria: Rice, Ben-Gurion universities show laser-induced graphene kills bacteria, resists biofouling May 22nd, 2017

Sensors detect disease markers in breath May 19th, 2017

Oddball enzyme provides easy path to synthetic biomaterials May 17th, 2017

The brighter side of twisted polymers: Conjugated polymers designed with a twist produce tiny, brightly fluorescent particles with broad applications May 16th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project