New DNA detection method described

Author:, Science News

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SOUTH BEND, Ind., Dec. 16 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers say a new DNA detection method could bring real-world applications that are more rapid, practical and cost effective than current methods.

University of Notre Dame physicists say the new method involves a technique called laser transmission spectroscopy, capable of rapidly determining the size, shape and number of nanoparticles in suspension.

Carol Tanner and Steven Ruggiero said a recent practical demonstration showed LTS capable of detecting species-specific DNA, where the presence of one invasive species of Asian carp was differentiated from a closely related invasive sister species.

The technique is highly sensitive and takes only a few seconds to score a sample genetically for species presence or absence, the researchers said in a university release Friday.

Aside from invasive species detection, the researchers say the technique could eventually serve as an important tool in detecting human pathogens and understanding and indicating the presence of genetic diseases such as cancer.