When FRETing over cancer biomarkers won’t work, focus on blinking instead

Researchers from Osaka University took advantage of chemical processes that occur on timescales 10,000 times broader than seen in conventional fluorescence phototransfer research. In so doing, they quantitated the subnanometer conformational dynamics of DNA molecules, and detected a cancer RNA biomarker at single-molecule resolution. Their innovative use of fluorescence blinking—commonly viewed as a nuisance—will advance biomedical diagnostics and fundamental biochemical research.
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