New technology offers 1st view of DNA damage within entire human genome

January 19th, 2011 - 5:17 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Jan 19 (ANI): Cardiff University researchers have developed a new technology that provides the first view of DNA damage throughout the entire human genome.

According to researchers, it may offer a valuable new insight into the development and treatment of conditions like cancer.

Ray Waters, Simon Reed and Yumin Teng from Cardiff University’s Department of Genetics, Haematology and Pathology have developed a unique way of measuring DNA damage frequency using tiny microarrays.

Using the new method Cardiff scientists can, for the first time, examine all 28,000 human genes where previous techniques have only allowed scientists to analyse parts of about five human genes.

The new-patented technique offers an unprecedented view of DNA damage in humans caused by agents that can create conditions like cancer.

Waters said, “This is really an exciting development and offers us the chance to examine DNA damage in the entire human genome. The approach is especially useful to examine the damage to people’s DNA that can go on to cause cancer. We can also examine DNA damaging anti-cancer therapeutics and how responses in individual patients vary.”

The novel technology will have implications for cancer risk assessment, for cancer diagnostics and for developing new cancer therapeutics.

Waters added, “The method has some very exciting potential applications. We are already working alongside companies such as Agilent to see if our method can be used by the chemical and pharmaceutical industries for routine genotoxicity testing. Here, determining whether new agents damage DNA is a crucial step in their development.

“The technique could also be used for other purposes like examining DNA damage in the skin from sunburn, and we will be looking to develop this application over the coming months and years.” (ANI)

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