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      From The Cover: Triggered amplification by hybridization chain reaction

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      Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

      Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

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          Abstract

          We introduce the concept of hybridization chain reaction (HCR), in which stable DNA monomers assemble only upon exposure to a target DNA fragment. In the simplest version of this process, two stable species of DNA hairpins coexist in solution until the introduction of initiator strands triggers a cascade of hybridization events that yields nicked double helices analogous to alternating copolymers. The average molecular weight of the HCR products varies inversely with initiator concentration. Amplification of more diverse recognition events can be achieved by coupling HCR to aptamer triggers. This functionality allows DNA to act as an amplifying transducer for biosensing applications.

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          Most cited references 37

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          In vitro selection of RNA molecules that bind specific ligands.

          Subpopulations of RNA molecules that bind specifically to a variety of organic dyes have been isolated from a population of random sequence RNA molecules. Roughly one in 10(10) random sequence RNA molecules folds in such a way as to create a specific binding site for small ligands.
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            Molecular beacons: probes that fluoresce upon hybridization.

            We have developed novel nucleic acid probes that recognize and report the presence of specific nucleic acids in homogeneous solutions. These probes undergo a spontaneous fluorogenic conformational change when they hybridize to their targets. Only perfectly complementary targets elicit this response, as hybridization does not occur when the target contains a mismatched nucleotide or a deletion. The probes are particularly suited for monitoring the synthesis of specific nucleic acids in real time. When used in nucleic acid amplification assays, gene detection is homogeneous and sensitive, and can be carried out in a sealed tube. When introduced into living cells, these probes should enable the origin, movement, and fate of specific mRNAs to be traced.
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              DNA in a material world.

              The specific bonding of DNA base pairs provides the chemical foundation for genetics. This powerful molecular recognition system can be used in nanotechnology to direct the assembly of highly structured materials with specific nanoscale features, as well as in DNA computation to process complex information. The exploitation of DNA for material purposes presents a new chapter in the history of the molecule.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                0027-8424
                1091-6490
                October 26 2004
                October 26 2004
                October 18 2004
                October 26 2004
                : 101
                : 43
                : 15275-15278
                10.1073/pnas.0407024101
                524468
                15492210
                © 2004
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