Saturday, July 31, 2021

Stanford Device Allows for Thousands of DNA Enzyme Experiments To Be Performed At the Same Time

    Enzymes have the power to catalyze the formation of many types of genetic materials. Scientists often use enzymes to speed up their experiments and synthesize desired materials quickly. One of the problems scientists encounter when using enzymes in experiments is that they often need to perform multiple enzyme reactions at a time, a process that can be time consuming and tedious. Scientists at Stanford university have recently created a machine that is able to run thousands of DNA enzyme experiments at once. This machine is called HT-MEK , standing for High-Throughput Microfluidic Enzyme Kinetic. Researchers claim that the HT-MEK machine can condense years of work into a few weeks. Before this new machine scientists where forced to only be able to observe the small active site of the DNA enzyme. Since the HT-MEK machine allows for multiple enzyme reactions to occur at once it allows for scientists to see how all locations on the DNA enzyme interact with one another and not just the active site. HT-MEK helps piece together how DNA enzymes work. Intentional mistakes were inserted into the DNA blueprint of an enzyme that passed through the HT-MEK machine so that scientists were able to see how the mistake affects catalysis. This process without the HT-MEK machine would be very time consuming and expensive. The HT-MEK machine simplifies the process by allowing for the multiple enzyme reactions to occur at the same time which not only saves time but also makes it easier to see how the parts of the enzyme work together during catalysis. 
      The implications and uses of the HT-MEK machine are still being discovered. Scientists predict that this new machine will help make many scientific processes more eco-friendly as the current industrial chemicals used in enzyme reactions are not very sustainable. The HT-MEK machine uses less chemicals than traditional enzymatic catalysis experiments. In the medical field this new machine could help rapidly catalyze the formation of products that can be introduced into human DNA to help cure genetic conditions. The creation of the HT-MEK machine opens up a world of possibilities in the Health and Human DNA fields.   

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1 comment:

  1. I think that the creation of this machine is a great step in the advancement of enzyme identification. Although it used to take very long for us to identify various enzymes, in cases of disease, etc., it will hopefully now be an easy process with the introduction of the HT-MEK. Multiple diseases that are caused by specific enzymes may be able to be identified and treated much quicker, allowing for an overall healthier population!