April 28, 2004

nanoDiagnostics

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Readers based in Switzerland may like to know that Cientifica CEO Tim Harper will be in Zurich for the First Tuesday meeting “The Future of Medicine:
Turning Science Fiction into Reality”
on 5th May.

One topic sure to be discussed is the recent announcement from Northwestern University about a new diagnostic technique. A major drawback of many DNA based diagnostics is the need to amplify the DNA, i.e take that one strand of DNA found at the scene of a crime, or taken from a small sample of spinal fluid when testing for meningitis, and make enough copies (usually billions) so that it can be accurately analyzed.

The usual amplification technique is the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), which can take several hours per sample. Chad Mirkin at Northwest claims the new technique, based on gold nanoparticles and DNA, is easier to use, considerably faster, more accurate and less expensive than PCR.

Posted by Cientifica at April 28, 2004 02:49 PM | TrackBack
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