Hybrid Energy Transfer for Nucleic Acid Detection
BACKGROUND: The need for efficient assays to detect DNA sequences is enormous and constantly growing. The recent increases in the number of sequenced genomes for bacterial and viral pathogens as well as humans provide the potential for improved medicine and diagnostics. Molecular beacon-based nucleic acid detection platforms are actively being pursued in basic research and are now emerging as the basis of powerful new sensing and diagnostic methods. However, optical detection requires high beacon concentrations and low clinical levels of target DNA are frequently problematic for such systems. Usually signal amplification (such as ELISA) or target amplifications (such as PCR) is required, both of which have drawbacks. Further, these assays are sequence-specific and only give signal when the correct target sequence is present.
DESCRIPTION: Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have developed novel, simplified assays for detection of target molecules, such as nucleic acids, that use enzymatic degradation to recognize RNA/DNA hetero-duplexes in addition to sequence-specific nucleic acids, without the need to amplify the target sequence and without the need to separate cleaved probes from uncleaved probes prior to detection. The assays use an RNA or chimeric RNA/DNA probe which recognizes a target nucleic acid sequence and forms an RNA/DNA heteroduplex, which then serves as the substrate for the enzymatic cleavage of the probe leading to a detectable signal. The target nucleic acid can be any oligonucleotide or polynucleotide from any organism, and both single- and double-stranded nucleic acid can be detected.
* Low cost, simplified assay
* No need for DNA amplification
* No need to separate cleaved and uncleaved probes prior to detection
* High accuracy/rapid turnaround
* Easily used by non-specialists
* Medical Diagnostics
* Environmental Safety
* Food Safety
* Civil Defense
* Veterinary Diagnostics
* Research Tool
This technology is available for licensing. Patent pending.
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