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Scientists develop tool to sequence circular DNA

Date: 16 May 2020 Tags: Biotechnology

Issue

A new tool invented by biologists to sequence circular DNA will provide scientists with richer, more accurate data that could help advance research on viruses, agriculture and perhaps even cancer.

 

Background

CIDER-Seq combines PCR-free virus enrichment with Single Molecule Real Time sequencing and a new sequence de-concatenation algorithm. 

 

Details

  • The tool called CIDER-Seq, which uses DNA sequencing technology called PacBio—was made available online by the researchers for other scientists to use, along with step-by-step lab and computer protocols for analyzing the DNA sequences.

  • Circular DNA is common in the genomes of bacteria and viruses. Recently, scientists discovered circular DNA within the nuclei of human and plant cells, called extrachromosomal circular DNA (eccDNA).

  • This little-understood type of circular DNA is also commonly found in cancer cells, and might even be linked with their ability to multiply rapidly.

  • Researchers have begun to investigate the role eccDNA plays in cancer, but progress has been hampered by a lack of effective methods for studying and sequencing it.

  • The new tool may be particularly helpful to agricultural scientists, because many viruses that infect crops have circular DNA.

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