April 29, 2014

Label-free, Sequence-specific, Inexpensive Fluorescent DNA Sensors

Intensity of glow indicates level of genetic match; potentially useful for identifying microbes, harmful agents, and more

Using principles of energy transfer more commonly applied to designing solar cells, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed a new highly sensitive way to detect specific sequences of DNA, the genetic material unique to every living thing. As described in a paper published in the journal Chemistry of Materials, the method is considerably less costly than other DNA assays and has widespread potential for applications in forensics, medical diagnostics, and the detection of bioterror agents.