Rethinking existing method opens new doors for cancer diagnostics
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Osaka – All diseases have a genetic component. Advances in understanding the genetic mechanisms behind these disease enables the development of early diagnostic tests, new treatments, or interventions to prevent disease onset or minimize disease severity. However, much remains to be learned when it comes to the extent to which genes contribute to disease.

Cancer can be diagnosed by identifying DNA and microRNA base sequences that have the same base length yet differ in a few base sequences, if the abundance ratios of these slightly deviant base sequences can be determined. However, while some current DNA sequencers using ionic current as a probe are expected to be able to determine the amount of DNA in principle, results of quantitative analysis have not yet been reported.

“Personalized medicine applications require a method that does not involve chemical modification using expensive reagents and protracted polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification, to allow high throughput at low cost,” explains Takahito Ohshiro, the first author of a new Osaka University study.

In the study, the team led by Masateru Taniguchi used current-tunneling measurements to record the single-molecule conductances of the base molecules. The tunneling

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