Electricity, The New Detective
Six sugar molecules can be put together in a trillion ways. Since some sugars are indicators of diseases, telling them apart could lead to better disease detection or medicines. To identify some molecules, it usually takes many samples or pricey hardware which is always not feasible. So, at Arizona State University, researchers are working on a device that could easily identify long molecule chains by how they respond to electricity.
In early lab experiments, the researchers used a special chemically-attractive molecule that can coat electrode plates and were able to elicit unique current spikes from other molecules—making it possible to tell them apart with a zap. They had already identified amino acids, peptides, and nucleobases. But now they can identify individual sugars. Pretty sweet, right?
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