Graphene sniffs out DNA mutations

Embedded with double stranded DNA, this electrical graphene chip is able to detect mutations in DNA in the body, thanks to bioengineers from the University of California.

Graphene is a type of carbon made of layered sheets only one atom thick. Researchers say this chip has the potential to be used in medical applications, including blood-based tests for early cancer screening.

The chip’s DNA is an engineered probe containing a sequence code for a specific, basic type of DNA mutation. When this mutation is detected, the chip gives off an electrical signal.

This breakthrough is the first step towards developing a chip that can be inserted into the body and, in real time, communicate DNA mutations wirelessly to a smartphone or laptop.

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