Menu
The world of science and progress
Pulsar Transformed Into Small Planet Made of Diamond Discovered in Milky Way

New Depiction of Light Could Boost Telecommunications Channels

Free Radicals Crucial to Suppressing Appetite

Preserving 4 Percent of the Ocean Could Protect Most Marine Mammal Species, Study Finds

Panda Poop May Be a Treasure Trove of Microbes for Making Biofuels

Discovery Sheds Light On the Ecosystem of Young Galaxies

New Method Reveals Parts of Bacterial Genome Essential to Life

Novel Alloy Could Produce Hydrogen Fuel from Sunlight

Tiny Oxygen Generators Boost Effectiveness of Anticancer Treatment

Bedrock Nitrogen May Help Forests Buffer Climate Change, Study Finds

'Gene Overdose' Causes Extreme Thinness

Manufacturing Method Paves Way for Commercially Viable Quantum Dot-Based LEDs

Cutting Soot Emissions: Fastest, Most Economical Way to Slow Global Warming?

Tasmanian Tiger's Jaw Was Too Small to Attack Sheep, Study Shows

Manipulating Plants' Circadian Clock May Make All-Season Crops Possible

NASA's Chandra Finds Nearest Pair of Supermassive Black Holes

Up from the Depths: How Bacteria Capture Carbon in the 'Twilight Zone'

Understanding Next-Generation Electronic Devices: Smallest Atomic Displacements Ever

Woolly Rhino Fossil Discovery in Tibet Provides Important Clues to Evolution of Ice Age Giants

Sparing or Sharing? Protecting Wild Species May Require Growing More Food On Less Land

Glowing, Blinking Bacteria Reveal How Cells Synchronize Biological Clocks

Rock Rafts Could Be 'Cradle of Life'

Robots Learn to Handle Objects, Understand New Places

World's Smallest Electric Motor Made from a Single Molecule

First Stem Cells from Endangered Species

Nanosensors Made from DNA May Light Path to New Cancer Tests and Drugs
Sensors made from custom DNA molecules could be used to personalize cancer treatments and monitor the quality of stem cells, according to an international team of researchers led by scientists at UC Santa Barbara and the University of Rome Tor Vergata.

The new nanosensors can quickly detect a broad class of proteins called transcription factors, which serve as the master control switches of life. The research is described in an article published in Journal of the American Chemical Society.

"The fate of our cells is controlled by thousands of different proteins, called transcription factors," said Alexis Vallée-Bélisle, a postdoctoral researcher in UCSB's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, who led the study. "The role of these proteins is to read the genome and translate it into instructions for the synthesis of the various molecules that compose and control the cell. Transcription factors act a little bit like the 'settings' of our cells, just like the settings on our phones or computers. What our sensors do is read those settings."

When scientists take stem cells and turn them into specialized cells, they do so by changing the levels of a few transcription factors, he explained. This process is called cell reprogramming. "Our sensors monitor transcription factor activities, and could be used to make sure that stem cells have been properly reprogrammed," said Vallée-Bélisle. "They could also be used to determine which transcription factors are activated or repressed in a patient's cancer cells, thus enabling physicians to use the right combination of drugs for each patient."

Andrew Bonham, a postdoctoral scholar at UCSB and co-first author of the study, explained that many labs have invented ways to read transcription factors; however, this team's approach is very quick and convenient. "In most labs, researchers spend hours extracting the proteins from cells before analyzing them," said Bonham. "With the new sensors, we just mash the cells up, put the sensors in, and measure the level of fluorescence of the sample."

This international research effort -- organized by senior authors Kevin Plaxco, professor in UCSB's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Francesco Ricci, professor at the University of Rome, Tor Vergata -- started when Ricci realized that all of the information necessary to detect transcription factor activities is already encrypted in the human genome, and could be used to build sensors. "Upon activation, these thousands of different transcription factors bind to their own specific target DNA sequence," said Ricci. "We use these sequences as a starting point to build our new nanosensors."

The key breakthrough underlying this new technology came from studies of the natural biosensors inside cells. "All creatures, from bacteria to humans, monitor their environments using 'biomolecular switches' -- shape-changing molecules made from RNA or proteins," said Plaxco. "For example, in our sinuses, there are millions of receptor proteins that detect different odor molecules by switching from an 'off state' to an 'on state.' The beauty of these switches is that they are small enough to operate inside a cell, and specific enough to work in the very complex environments found there."

Inspired by the efficiency of these natural nanosensors, the research group teamed with Norbert Reich, also a professor in UCSB's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, to build synthetic switching nanosensors using DNA, rather than proteins or RNA.

Specifically, the team re-engineered three naturally occurring DNA sequences, each recognizing a different transcription factor, into molecular switches that become fluorescent when they bind to their intended targets. Using these nanometer-scale sensors, the researchers could determine transcription factor activity directly in cellular extracts by simply measuring their fluorescence level.

The researchers believe that this strategy will ultimately allow biologists to monitor the activation of thousands of transcription factors, leading to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying cell division and development. "Alternatively, since these nanosensors work directly in biological samples, we also believe that they could be used to screen and test new drugs that could, for example, inhibit transcription-factor binding activity responsible for the growth of tumor cells," said Plaxco.

This work was funded by the National Institute of Health, the Fond Québécois de la Recherche sur la Nature et les Technologies, the Italian Ministry of University and Research (MIUR) project "Futuro in Ricerca," and the Tri-County Blood Bank Santa Barbara Foundation.

Для печати
Buy Mildronate from Grindex (Latvia) - Maria Sharapova secret.

here
serial port virtual
monitor rs232 port
Ibiza-boatparties.com
hovalot555

Menu
Growing Meat in the Lab: Scientists Initiate Action Plan to Advance Cultured Meat

Recycling Fat Might Help Worms Live Longer

In More Socially Engaging Environment, White Fat Turns to Brown, Mouse Study Suggests

Clouds Don't Cause Climate Change, Study Shows

Novel Magnetic, Superconducting Material Opens New Possibilities in Electronics

New Material Shows Promise for Trapping Pollutants

Breakthrough Could Double Wireless Capacity With No New Towers

Microbes Generate Electricity While Cleaning Up Nuclear Waste

Milky Way Galaxy Might Hold Thousands of Ticking 'Time Bombs'

Neurosurgeons Use Adult Stem Cells to Grow Neck Vertebrae

Jumping Gene's Preferred Targets May Influence Genome Evolution

Peer Pressure? It's Hardwired Into Our Brains, Study Finds

Scientists Create Mammalian Cells With Single Chromosome Set

Evidence for a Persistently Iron-Rich Ocean Changes Views On Earth's Early History

Nanosensors Made from DNA May Light Path to New Cancer Tests and Drugs

Endangered Horse Has Ancient Origins and High Genetic Diversity, New Study Finds

Australopithecus Sediba Paved the Way for Homo Species, New Studies Suggest

Babies Distinguish Pain from Touch at 35-37 Weeks, Research Finds

Mantis Shrimp: Ocean Floor Critters Communicate in Synchronized Rumbles

Powered by Seaweed: Polymer from Algae May Improve Battery Performance

Captivated by Critters: Humans Are Wired to Respond to Animals

Birth Control Pills Affect Memory, Researchers Find

NASA Launches Mission to Study Moon From Crust to Core

Sea Levels Much Less Stable Than Earlier Believed, New Coral Dating Method Suggests

Ferroelectrics Could Pave Way for Ultra-Low Power Computing