Annual Report FY 2004 - Research at Cornell

26. DNA Unzipped

Michelle D. Wang, Physics, and research colleague Steven J. Koch discovered a technique for pulling apart, or unzipping, two strands of DNA and loosening restriction enzymes and other proteins in the process. The technique—called unzipping force analysis of protein association, or UFAPA—could be used for restriction mapping, the first critical step in genomic sequencing, as well as for actual sequencing where the sequence of DNA is determined with a large number of restriction enzymes. The technique enables scientists to determine more about the roles of DNA-binding proteins. For drug development, the process could be automated, and pharmaceutical companies could use it to screen collections of small molecules for affinity to DNA. A Cornell patent is under review for the technique.

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