** Researchers at Ny University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences have developed a novel algebraic model of DNA “hybridization,” a procedure central to many biotechnology devices that monitor alterations in cell’s gene expression or characterize a cell’s genome.**

*Their work, *that is* described *in the* journal Physical Review E, provides *an additional* tool for *understanding how* biological systems function *and could* enhance methods and designs of technologies *utilized in* cancer and genetics research.*

*Biology researchers seek to measure cell activity, *but the* task *is really a* challenging one *due to the* complexity — a cell has *so many* facets, all *happening* simultaneously, *that it’s* *hard to* measure *the behaviour* *of their* individual parts. Genes *that do not* necessarily affect *each other* *in the* cell can disturb each others’ measurements *inside a* biotechnology device.*

* *To obtain* around these obstacles, the NYU researchers *focused on* *what sort of* cell’s *simplest* components are measured — its DNA and RNA. Specifically, they used a cell’s gene expressions *as a* “tagging system” *to watch* cell behavior at its most fundamental level.*

* *For this purpose*, they *centered on* microarray technology *in which* researchers first gather data *on the* make-up of RNA molecules in two steps: RNA is first *changed into* cDNA, or “copy DNA,” *after which* measured by hybridization.*

*However, the researchers’ initial work involved not experiments, but, rather, the *advance of* mathematical models *to calculate* “DNA-cDNA duplex formation.” They developed an algebraic computation that *allowed them to* model arbitrary DNA-cDNA duplex formation, and, *by using it*, measurements of cellular behavior. Specifically, they assigned *to various* chemical properties of DNA strands different algebraic values (e.g., “K,” “X,” “Y”). *They then* ran *a series of* computations that *led to* expressing how “matches” or “mismatches” among various strands of DNA *can be* characterized *by the* input algebraic variables. These computations could then *be used* *straight to* design *probably the most* accurate biotechnology for measuring cellular behavior.*

* *To confirm* the validity *of those* algebraic models, *they* conducted laboratory experiments *involving the* hybridization of DNA sequences. These results largely confirmed those predicted *by the* mathematical models — the DNA sequences *in the* laboratory *harmonized* *in most instances* *with techniques* the models forecast.*

*The study’s co-authors were: Vera Cherepinsky, *an old* post-doctoral fellow at NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and currently *in the* Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Fairfield University; Ghazala Hashmi of BioArray Solutions, Ltd.; and Bud Mishra, a professor of computer science and mathematics *and a* principal investigator in Courant Bioinformatics Group.*

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Algebraic Type of of DNA Hybridization Developed to watch Cellular Changeare now closed.