DNA Weapon in Genetic Illness; WARWICK UNIVERSITY RESEARCH CHEMISTS MAKE BREAKTHROUGH

Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), May 3, 2002 | Go to article overview

DNA Weapon in Genetic Illness; WARWICK UNIVERSITY RESEARCH CHEMISTS MAKE BREAKTHROUGH


Byline: KAREN HAMBRIDGE Health Reporter

RESEARCHERS at the University of Warwick have hit on a way of locking up DNA which could provide a breakthrough in battling gene-related illnesses.

The discovery brings hope of alleviating all manner of conditions, from rare syndromes to progressive disorders and cancers.

But many more years of study are needed before the research turns into a tool for doctors to use in their fight against disease.

Peter Dunn, press officer for the university, in Coventry, said the research, pioneered by Dr Mike Hannon and Dr Alison Rodger, was highly significant.

"The research chemists have found a class of synthetic molecules that could quite literally act as a key which could lock away sections of DNA into a closely-wound coil, preventing proteins from interacting with parts of the DNA code."

He explained: "Basically, when proteins come into contact with the DNA chain, it makes changes happen in the body.

"Sometimes, this can manifest itself in illness. The researchers wanted to find a way of stopping these messages from being sent out and the changes happenin

"They managed to produce a synthetic molecule which is big enough to bind with the major groove of the DNA where most of the action is. …

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