Scientists at Northwestern University in the United States have developed a new way of writing information into DNA, which takes only a few minutes. It was named TURTLES.
Scientists have used an enzyme system to synthesize DNA: it can record rapidly changing environmental signals, as a result, the genome becomes an information carrier.
Previously, similar ways of recording information took hours and days because it took time to synthesize protein. These approaches were based on multicomponent processes, in which new ones were added to existing DNA sequences using DNA polymerase.
To get an accurate record, the researchers have learned to stimulate and suppress the expression of certain proteins, but this can take up to ten hours.
The authors of the new work note that they used a polymerase that is sensitive to changes in the environment, for example, to changes in the concentration of metals. Therefore, it acts as a “molecular ticker tape” and indicates the time of the change in the environment.
They called the new method TURTLES: in it, the authors used biosensors to register changes in DNA. They note that TURTLES will help create and improve tools for brain research. Using the new method, scientists will be able to understand how specific neurons respond to stimuli.