DNA is one of the most basic molecules of life, which makes it a very important subject for scientists to study. However, due to it’s small size, it’s not easy to study.
To make this process easier, researchers often attach fluorescent dyes to the molecules. While this does make the whole process a lot easier, it still isn’t ideal owing to the low resolution nature of the resultant imaging.
To improve this process, a team of scientists at Stanford University have developed a method which uses polarized light to enhance the quality of Single-Molecule Microscopy.
The process uses florescent dye to highlight specific molecules, which are then beamed with a polarized laser light. Once done, the team then uses an electro-optic modulator to change the polarity of the molecules.
This change causes the molecules to shine at different intensities. This difference in brightness is measured and then used to understand the behavior of the DNA molecules.
During experiments on this technology, it was found that the new technique can measure 300,000 single molecule locations and 30,000 single-molecule orientation measurements in barely 13 minutes, which is a huge increment in both speed and efficiency.
The researchers are now working on solidifying and improving this process of DNA study, so that researchers may be able to to identify changes or damages in DNA strands with ease.