«Sundogs» will help scientists from Russia quickly find the differences in DNA

© Illustration RIA Novosti . Alina Polyanina Depositphotos / SergeyNivensСтруктура DNA and the genetic code«Sundogs» will help scientists from Russia quickly find the differences in DNA© Illustration RIA Novosti . Alina Polyanina Depositphotos / SergeyNivensПодпишись to daily updates RIA Science

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. Biologists from Russia have learned to decipher and quickly compare the structure of DNA of different cells, prospecive their molecules with a laser and watching its beam «scatters» in a variety of bright and dark spots. A description of this methodology was published in the journal Laser Physics Letters.

«The principle of our optical processor has been described quite a long time, but the approach is based on the recognition of nucleotide sequences, a unique and fundamentally new. Previously, he has never been used in bioinformatics,» says Professor Sergey Ulyanov from the Saratov state University, quoted in a press-service of the Russian science Foundation.

Initially, the technology of DNA sequencing was expensive, available only to large laboratories and large teams of scientists. Current estimates of economists, the first complete decoding of the human genome has cost the American taxpayers to $ 2.7 billion.

The growth of capacity of computers and new technologies deciphering DNA in recent years has reduced the cost of sequencing to a few thousand dollars, which enabled genomic technologies to penetrate all areas of medicine and science.

Ulyanov and his team, like many other foreign and domestic scientists, trying to take the next step in the development of molecular biology – they create methods to find traces of specific fragments of DNA or genomes of particular organisms in virtually any venue without prior sample preparation and knowledge of what they must present.

The development of such technologies is extremely important for doctors, as they will allow them to diagnose dangerous diseases in the earliest stages of their development, and to find the traces of infections, cancer cells and other «violators of the regime» before they manage to take root in the body. Russian scientists have taken the first step towards creating such systems, «tamed» a kind of sunbeams.

As noted Ulyanov and his colleagues, the collision of a laser beam with a long DNA molecule will lead to the fact that it will fall apart into many dark and bright spots. Their number, size, and other properties will very much depend on how the barrier faced by their progenitor.

This ensures that the change of even one of the «letters» in DNA make a huge difference in the number and location of the «sunbeams». By analyzing these differences, it is possible to understand what has changed in the structure of the genome of the microbe or cells, and the sets bright and dark spots you can use to compare large numbers of genomes in different cells or strains of bacteria.

The same method of analysis, according to the authors, can be used for quick analysis and comparison of «normal» genomes decoded by using classical methods of molecular biology. It’s enough to convert them to a similar picture with a special program, the so-called «optical processor», and then use it to compare them among themselves.

Russian scientists have created the first program of its kind, drawing attention to what is happening in the interaction of laser beam with different «letters» of DNA, and making a set of formulas, allowing you to easily calculate the number, position, and other properties of «sunshine» that would emerge during the actual experiment.

This methodology for analysing and comparing the DNA they tested on fragments of omp1 gene responsible for the cell membrane in the cells of chlamydia (Chlamydia), microbe-causative agent of one of the most common sexual lectures.

This gene, as the scientists explain, is used today to search for traces of infection in the early stages of infection, and small mutations within it can make microbe «invisible» to physicians. Optical processors, as shown by experiments Ulyanov and his colleagues, unable to find even a single mutation in the omp1 that will accelerate the detection of infection and help doctors choosing the correct medication to deal with it.

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