A team of researchers from University of Arkansas has developed a cost-effective method to study the effects of chemicals on DNA,which will create opportunities for to improve the life-saving treatments in near future.
Jack Freeland, an honors physics student in his junior year, worked with Yong Wang, assistant professor of physics, and Prabhat Khadaka, a post doctoral fellow, to create bent strands of DNA using a technique developed by Wang and colleagues at the University of California Los Angeles, where Wang was a doctoral student.
The bending DNA strand is helpful in amplifying the effects of chemical interactions so that the observations are more precise.Their method could be used to observe interactions of DNA with metal ions using gel electrophoresis, a routine technique available in most chemistry and biochemistry labs.
Compared to other DNA interaction methods,which are much expensive or less sensitive, in this method The researchers created their amplifiers from two single strands of synthesized DNA, one with 45 bases and one with 30, so one is longer than the other. The bases of the two strands pair up so the ends of the longer strand bend toward the middle of the shorter strand to form a circular construction.
The researchers then exposed the bent DNA to silver ions and observed that the silver ions affected the pairing up of the DNA strands.
“In addition to metal ions, it is likely that our bent DNA amplifiers can be used to investigate the interactions of DNA with other chemicals, including organic molecules and reagents,” the researchers said in the paper.