Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > New Nanopore Sensor Simplifies Analysis of Methylated DNA

Abstract:
DNA methylation, the addition of a methyl group to specific locations on a DNA strand, plays a critical role in determining which genes are active in a cell at any given time. It plays an important role in embryonic development, cell growth and reproduction, and many diseases, including cancer. Now, researchers collaborating at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign have developed a novel single molecule test for detecting DNA methylation that should greatly simplify and advance the study of this important genomic process.

New Nanopore Sensor Simplifies Analysis of Methylated DNA

Bethesda, MD | Posted on May 20th, 2013

The details of this new test appear in a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports. This study was led by George Vasmatzis, co-leader of the Mayo Clinic's Biomarker Discovery Program in the Center for Individualized Medicine, and Rashid Bashir, co-principal investigator of the Midwest Cancer Nanotechnology Training Center at the University of Illinois, part of the National Cancer Institute's Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer.

The new method relies on solid-state nanopores, nanometer-sized holes created using standard semiconductor processing technologies in membranes made of a particular type of insulating material known as a dielectric. Electrical signals from the dielectric change in specific patterns when molecules, such as DNA pass through the nanopore. In this case, the collaborating teams labeled methylated regions of DNA with a specific methyl DNA binding protein known as MBD1.Whenever the protein-labeled region of DNA passes through a nanopore, the electrical current changes by a factor of three compared to when unlabeled regions of DNA pass through the pore, an easily observed change.

"While nanopores have been studied for genomic sequencing and screening analysis, this new assay can potentially circumvent the need for some of the current processes in evaluating epigenetics-related diseases," says Dr. Vasmatzis. He says the assay could eliminate the need for bisulfite conversion of DNA, fluorescent labeling, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR), the standard method for detecting methylated DNA. While this method is useful, its limitation is that it requires large quantities of DNA.

In its current form, this new technique can detect single instances of DNA methylation with high fidelity and determine the total number of methylation sites per DNA molecule. According to Dr. Bashir, "The next step in this research is to increase the spatial resolution by incorporating thinner membranes and by integrating the same preparation steps." Such improvements would then enable researchers to create high-resolution methylation maps that would be useful for characterizing so-called epigenetic diseases, including cancer.

The investigators note that "cancer-specific methylated DNA from most tumor types are known to be present in biopsy specimens and in patient serum at very low concentrations. A rapid, accurate, and amplification free assay to detect these biomarkers from minute sample volumes could prove invaluable in the early detection of disease, monitoring disease progression, and prognosis. With continued development, solid-state nanopores could meet this unmet technological and clinical need."

####

About The National Cancer Institute (NCI)
To help meet the goal of reducing the burden of cancer, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, is engaged in efforts to harness the power of nanotechnology to radically change the way we diagnose, treat and prevent cancer.

The NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer is a comprehensive, systematized initiative encompassing the public and private sectors, designed to accelerate the application of the best capabilities of nanotechnology to cancer.

Currently, scientists are limited in their ability to turn promising molecular discoveries into benefits for cancer patients. Nanotechnology can provide the technical power and tools that will enable those developing new diagnostics, therapeutics, and preventives to keep pace with today’s explosion in knowledge.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
National Cancer Institute
Office of Technology & Industrial Relations
ATTN: NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer
Building 31, Room 10A49
31 Center Drive , MSC 2580
Bethesda , MD 20892-2580

Copyright © The National Cancer Institute (NCI)

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 Links

View full paper - "Detection and quantification of methylation in DNA using solid-state nanopores."

Related News Press

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Analog DNA circuit does math in a test tube: DNA computers could one day be programmed to diagnose and treat disease August 25th, 2016

New approach to determining how atoms are arranged in materials August 25th, 2016

Johns Hopkins scientists track metabolic pathways to find drug combination for pancreatic cancer August 25th, 2016

New electrical energy storage material shows its power: Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors August 25th, 2016

Nanomedicine

Designing ultrasound tools with Lego-like proteins August 29th, 2016

Nanofiber scaffolds demonstrate new features in the behavior of stem and cancer cells August 25th, 2016

Johns Hopkins scientists track metabolic pathways to find drug combination for pancreatic cancer August 25th, 2016

50 years after the release of the film 'Fantastic Voyage,' science upstages fiction: Science upstages fiction with nanorobotic agents designed to travel in the human body to treat cancer August 25th, 2016

Sensors

A promising route to the scalable production of highly crystalline graphene films August 26th, 2016

Down to the wire: ONR researchers and new bacteria August 18th, 2016

'Sniffer plasmons' could detect explosives: Scientists have proposed a graphene-based spaser that can detect even small amounts of various substances, including explosives August 16th, 2016

Perpetual 'ice water': Stable solid-liquid state revealed in nanoparticles: Gallium nanoparticles that are both solid and liquid are stable over a range of 1000 degrees Fahrenheit August 5th, 2016

Announcements

Designing ultrasound tools with Lego-like proteins August 29th, 2016

A nanoscale wireless communication system via plasmonic antennas: Greater control affords 'in-plane' transmission of waves at or near visible light August 27th, 2016

Forces of nature: Interview with microscopy innovators Gerd Binnig and Christoph Gerber August 26th, 2016

A promising route to the scalable production of highly crystalline graphene films August 26th, 2016

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Designing ultrasound tools with Lego-like proteins August 29th, 2016

A nanoscale wireless communication system via plasmonic antennas: Greater control affords 'in-plane' transmission of waves at or near visible light August 27th, 2016

Forces of nature: Interview with microscopy innovators Gerd Binnig and Christoph Gerber August 26th, 2016

A promising route to the scalable production of highly crystalline graphene films August 26th, 2016

Energy

New electrical energy storage material shows its power: Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors August 25th, 2016

Lehigh engineer discovers a high-speed nano-avalanche: New findings published in the Journal of Electrochemical Society about the process involving transformations in glass that occur under intense electrical and thermal conditions could lead the way to more energy-efficient glas August 24th, 2016

New flexible material can make any window 'smart' August 23rd, 2016

Researchers reduce expensive noble metals for fuel cell reactions August 22nd, 2016

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







Car Brands
Buy website traffic