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Understanding Cancer Series

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  • Posted: 01/28/2005

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Slide 11

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Nanopores

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Another interesting nanodevice is the nanopore. Improved methods of reading the genetic code will help researchers detect errors in genes that may contribute to cancer. Scientists believe nanopores, tiny holes that allow DNA to pass through one strand at a time, will make DNA sequencing more efficient. As DNA passes through a nanopore, scientists can monitor the shape and electrical properties of each base, or letter, on the strand. Because these properties are unique for each of the four bases that make up the genetic code, scientists can use the passage of DNA through a nanopore to decipher the encoded information, including errors in the code known to be associated with cancer.

Nanopores