NEC finds nanotubes help sniff out DNA

Nov. 7, 2002 — NEC Corp. researchers said they have developed a nano-based approach to creating biochips that can rapidly identify DNA and protein molecules, according to the Asahi Shimbun news service.

The scientists, who presented their findings at a recent biochemical conference in Japan, said they built tiny pipelines of silicon nanotubes and concave troughs, and placed them on a semiconductor chip. Experimental materials were pumped through the chip, with marker molecules that can be interpreted with software, according to the report.

By measuring the differences in paths taken and speed of the molecular material’s movement, researchers said they could identify three DNA patterns. The approach appears to simplify and boost the precision of current methods, the report said.


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