Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Nanopores could map small changes in DNA that signal big shifts in cancer

University of Illinois researchers developed a method to detect and map DNA methylation, which can be a sign of cancer, by threading the DNA through a tiny hole in a thin sheet of conductive material with a current running through it.
CREDIT
Image by Aditya Sarathy
University of Illinois researchers developed a method to detect and map DNA methylation, which can be a sign of cancer, by threading the DNA through a tiny hole in a thin sheet of conductive material with a current running through it. CREDIT Image by Aditya Sarathy

Abstract:
Detecting cancer early, just as changes are beginning in DNA, could enhance diagnosis and treatment as well as further our understanding of the disease. A new study by University of Illinois researchers describes a method to detect, count and map tiny additions to DNA called methylations, which can be a warning sign of cancer, with unprecedented resolution.

Nanopores could map small changes in DNA that signal big shifts in cancer

Champaign, IL | Posted on April 13th, 2017

The method threads DNA strands through a tiny hole, called a nanopore, in an atomically thin sheet of material with an electrical current running through it. The study was published in the inaugural issue of the journal npj 2D Materials and Applications, a new journal from Nature Press.

"One or a few methylations is not a big deal, but if there are many of them and they are packed close together, then it's bad," said study leader Jean-Pierre Leburton, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Illinois. "DNA methylation is actually a starting process for cancer. So we want to detect how many of them there are and how close together they are. That can tell us at which stage the cancer is."

Other attempts at using nanopores to detect methylation have been limited in resolution. Researchers begin by punching a tiny hole in a flat sheet of material only one atom or molecule thick. The pore is submerged in a salt solution and an electrical current is applied to drive the DNA molecule through the pore. Dips in the current alert researchers that a methyl group is passing through. However, when two or three are close together, the pore interprets it as one signal, Leburton said.

The Illinois group tried a slightly different approach. They applied a current directly to the conductive sheet surrounding the pore. Working with Klaus Schulten, a professor of physics at Illinois, Leburton's group at Illinois' Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology used advanced computer simulations to test applying current to different flat materials, such as graphene and molybdenum disulfide, as methylated DNA was threaded through.

See a video of one simulation on YouTube.

"Our simulations indicate that measuring the current through the membrane instead of just the solution around it is much more precise," Leburton said. "If you have two methylations close together, even only 10 base pairs away, you continue to see two dips and no overlapping. We also can map where they are on the strand, so we can see how many there are and where they are."

Leburton's group is working with collaborators to improve DNA threading, to cut down on noise in the electrical signal and to perform experiments to verify their simulations.

###

Grants from Oxford Nanopore Technology, the Beckman Institute, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation supported this work.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Liz Ahlberg Touchstone

217-244-1073

Jean-Pierre Leburton
(217) 333-6813

Copyright © University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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

The paper "Detection and mapping of DNA methylation with 2D material nanopores" is available online. doi:10.1038/s41699-017-0005-7:

Related News Press

News and information

Atomic imperfections move quantum communication network closer to reality June 25th, 2017

Research accelerates quest for quicker, longer-lasting electronics: UC Riverside-led research makes topological insulators magnetic well above room temperatures June 25th, 2017

U.S. Air Force Research Lab Taps IBM to Build Brain-Inspired AI Supercomputing System: Equal to 64 million neurons, new neurosynaptic supercomputing system will power complex AI tasks at unprecedented speed and energy efficiency June 23rd, 2017

Rice U. chemists create 3-D printed graphene foam June 22nd, 2017

Cancer

Researchers developed nanoparticle based contrast agent for dual modal imaging of cancer June 21st, 2017

Making vessels leaky on demand could aid drug delivery:Rice University scientists use magnets and nanoparticles to open, close gaps in blood vessels June 8th, 2017

Nanobiotix's promising data from Phase I/II head and neck cancer trial presented at ASCO June 5th, 2017

Nanosized silicon heater and thermometer combined to fight cancer June 1st, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Atomic imperfections move quantum communication network closer to reality June 25th, 2017

Research accelerates quest for quicker, longer-lasting electronics: UC Riverside-led research makes topological insulators magnetic well above room temperatures June 25th, 2017

U.S. Air Force Research Lab Taps IBM to Build Brain-Inspired AI Supercomputing System: Equal to 64 million neurons, new neurosynaptic supercomputing system will power complex AI tasks at unprecedented speed and energy efficiency June 23rd, 2017

Rice U. chemists create 3-D printed graphene foam June 22nd, 2017

Possible Futures

Atomic imperfections move quantum communication network closer to reality June 25th, 2017

Research accelerates quest for quicker, longer-lasting electronics: UC Riverside-led research makes topological insulators magnetic well above room temperatures June 25th, 2017

U.S. Air Force Research Lab Taps IBM to Build Brain-Inspired AI Supercomputing System: Equal to 64 million neurons, new neurosynaptic supercomputing system will power complex AI tasks at unprecedented speed and energy efficiency June 23rd, 2017

Rice U. chemists create 3-D printed graphene foam June 22nd, 2017

Nanomedicine

Researchers developed nanoparticle based contrast agent for dual modal imaging of cancer June 21st, 2017

Learning with light: New system allows optical “deep learning”: Neural networks could be implemented more quickly using new photonic technology June 12th, 2017

Mussels add muscle to biocompatible fibers: Rice University chemists develop hydrogel strings using compound found in sea creatures June 9th, 2017

Making vessels leaky on demand could aid drug delivery:Rice University scientists use magnets and nanoparticles to open, close gaps in blood vessels June 8th, 2017

Discoveries

Atomic imperfections move quantum communication network closer to reality June 25th, 2017

Research accelerates quest for quicker, longer-lasting electronics: UC Riverside-led research makes topological insulators magnetic well above room temperatures June 25th, 2017

Rice U. chemists create 3-D printed graphene foam June 22nd, 2017

Enhanced photocatalytic activity by Cu2O nanoparticles integrated H2Ti3O7 nanotubes June 21st, 2017

Announcements

Atomic imperfections move quantum communication network closer to reality June 25th, 2017

Research accelerates quest for quicker, longer-lasting electronics: UC Riverside-led research makes topological insulators magnetic well above room temperatures June 25th, 2017

U.S. Air Force Research Lab Taps IBM to Build Brain-Inspired AI Supercomputing System: Equal to 64 million neurons, new neurosynaptic supercomputing system will power complex AI tasks at unprecedented speed and energy efficiency June 23rd, 2017

Rice U. chemists create 3-D printed graphene foam June 22nd, 2017

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

Atomic imperfections move quantum communication network closer to reality June 25th, 2017

Research accelerates quest for quicker, longer-lasting electronics: UC Riverside-led research makes topological insulators magnetic well above room temperatures June 25th, 2017

Rice U. chemists create 3-D printed graphene foam June 22nd, 2017

Tiny bubbles provide tremendous propulsion in new microparticles research-Ben-Gurion U. June 21st, 2017

Grants/Sponsored Research/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

Atomic imperfections move quantum communication network closer to reality June 25th, 2017

Rice U. chemists create 3-D printed graphene foam June 22nd, 2017

Mussels add muscle to biocompatible fibers: Rice University chemists develop hydrogel strings using compound found in sea creatures June 9th, 2017

The 2017 Winners for Generation Nano June 8th, 2017

Nanobiotechnology

Researchers developed nanoparticle based contrast agent for dual modal imaging of cancer June 21st, 2017

Mussels add muscle to biocompatible fibers: Rice University chemists develop hydrogel strings using compound found in sea creatures June 9th, 2017

Making vessels leaky on demand could aid drug delivery:Rice University scientists use magnets and nanoparticles to open, close gaps in blood vessels June 8th, 2017

Nanobiotix's promising data from Phase I/II head and neck cancer trial presented at ASCO June 5th, 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