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DNA amplification
Molecular Biology

Newly developed method for DNA amplification

Are you struggling with the long process of DNA amplification using PCR? Well, you need not struggle anymore with the long heating and cooling steps and non-specific amplification. Recently scientists from Tokyo Institute of Japan have developed a new method to achieve complex DNA amplification & precise hybridization at very low temperatures ( 370C )

The use of L-Team:

The new development involves the use of a method named as Low-Temperature Amplification (L-Team). Wherein DNA amplification is carried out at body temperature (370C) using locked nucleic acid, unlike standard PCR where temperature high as 950C is used. It took almost five years for the researchers to come up with this method which offers many benefits over the normal PCR.

Scientists used unique synthetic molecules known as locked nucleic acids (LNA). These biomolecules were introduced in the nucleic acid strands. This provided a better stability at the hybridization step during DNA amplification.

What are locked nucleic acids?

Locked nucleic acids are oligomers which are chemically synthesized for the first time in 1997. LNA is the RNA nucleotide with a modified ribose group using a methylene bridge between 2’ oxygen and 4’ carbon group. This locks the ribose moiety in 3’ endo conformation, which is commonly found in A-form nucleic acids.  The major benefit of LNA molecules is that it can be complexed with both DNA and RNA molecules by following the base-pairing rules of Watson and Crick.  The locking of ribose moiety in endo- conformation improves the organization of its backbone. This further enhances the property like the hybridization of oligonucleotides at low melting temperature.

Beneficial outcomes and applications

The researchers observed that the addition of LNA molecules had beneficial outcomes. They found that it drastically reduces the leaky amplifications. Thus, resolving the major problem of non-specific amplification observed during normal PCR. This reduces the error in the diagnosis of diseases and avoid false-positive results.

The method allows rapid amplification of DNA, making it a perfect tool for real-time analysis of samples. It can be used in diagnostics for rapid detection of diseases and development of biosensors. These biosensors can be used in food, environment, medical and other fields for detecting contamination, infection, etc.

Way Ahead

The use of the L-Team method for DNA amplification can prove to be highly effective in the near future. It has a wide application and can be also used for DNA computing or molecular robotics. It can also be used for detecting short nucleotide sequences such as microRNA. This sets another advantage because microRNA is a prominent cancer biomarker. Using L-Team can help in detecting cancer via microRNA at a faster pace than the traditional methods.

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The research is published in the Journal of Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry. The article has been originally inspired from Eureka alerts.

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