podcast

Do you know your A.C.G.T?

Image: Flickr / Dullhunk

…as easy as, 1.2.3… Sorry got caught up singing my favorite song. Jackson 5, legends. Though they obviously got the A.B.C part wrong because it should have been A.G.C.T, the four most important letters of life.

A.G.C.T represent the four bases that make up DNA:  adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine. When contained in DNA they code for a huge amount of information. One day, doctors hope that they might be able to diagnose and propose treatments from reading this information contained in DNA that might make treatments truly personal to our needs.

There’s just one problem, we don’t have the technology to cheaply and quickly read DNA that would enable us to progress research in the above areas, let alone use them within a medical situation. This is where a group of scientists at Imperial College, London come in. They are developing a new nanotechnology that will read a genes in a matter of hours. I went to meet them and a couple of doctors who are hoping to benefit from the technology once they’ve developed it.

Andy Bailey is studying for an MSc in Science Media Production at Imperial College, London.

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