Sound waves detect DNA damage
20 September 2006
A new method for detecting DNA damage with sound waves has been developed.
The research is reported in the latest edition of the Royal Society of Chemistry journal The Analyst.
Dr Mike Thompson and a team at the University of Canada, Toronto, have used an acoustic wave sensor to detect damage to DNA.
Lesions are a common form of such damage - where one half of one of the base pairs that span the length of the DNA double helix is missing.
Damaged DNA with apyrimidinic sites
Dr Thompson and his team deposited samples of DNA on the surface of a quartz crystal. When an electric field is applied to the crystal, an acoustic wave (or high energy sound wave) is generated, which travels through the layer of DNA.
Damaged DNA causes measurable changes in the frequency and speed of the wave.
The research team believe the technique has huge potential.
Dr Thompson said: "The methods developed are going to be commercialised through the development of specific instrumentation for measurement of the interaction of small molecules which cause DNA damage."
with thanks to Michelle Zgraggen for the original article
T Hianik, X Wang, S Andreev, N Dolinnaya, T Oretskaya and M Thompson, Analyst, 2006
Potentially cancer causing changes in DNA structure can be detected by acoustic waves.
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