New Method Developed By Bioengineers Gives Regenerative Medicine A Boost


ScienceDaily (Apr. 23, 2009) — Bioengineers at UC San Diego have developed a breakthrough method for sequencing-based methylation profiling, which could help fuel personalized regenerative medicine and even lead to more efficient and cost-effective methods for studying certain diseases.

To do this, theresearchers, led by Kun Zhang, an assistant bioengineering professor in the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, developed an accurate assays for quantifying DNA methylation digitally on an arbitrary set of nonrepetitive genomic targets using padlock probes.

Zhang and his group describe the breakthrough in a recent paper published in Nature Biotechnology titled “Targeted bisulfite sequencing reveals changes in DNA methylation associated with nuclear reprogramming.”

DNA methylation is a type of chemical modification of DNA that can be inherited and subsequently removed without changing the original DNA sequence. Current DNA methylation assays are limited in the flexibility and efficiency of characterizing a large number of genomic targets, and are extremely costly (more than $100,000). The method created by Zhang and his team will allow researchers to perform such assays at a significantly lower cost, he said.

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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0423132922.htm