BER launches Environmental System Science Program. Visit our new website under construction!

U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

Published: October 17, 2001
Posted: October 25, 2001

A major scaleup in DNA analytical capabilities which bypasses many commonly used steps is being commercialized. The basic technology was developed by Dr. George Church at the Harvard Medical School under DOE Human Genome Program support, and has been licensed to Novation, Inc., in Brooklie, MA. DNA fragments are separately immobilized in a thin gel sheet and impregnated with reagents supporting the DNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Each DNA bit is thus amplified into many compactly located copies, together called a "polony". The gel sheet containing millions of polonies is suitable for a variety of analytical tests including screening for particular target DNAs, such as those encoding bacterial toxins, viral components, cancer genes, etc. When an interesting target polony is recognized, its DNA can be sequenced, to fully identify the encoded gene and/or its source organism and chromosomal location. The great power of this technology is its ability to screen millions of targets very quickly and to screen the DNA of organisms that cannot be grown in culture.

Contact: Marvin Stodolsky, SC-72, 3-4475
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Genomic Analysis and Systems Biology
  • Legacy: Human Genome Project (1990-2003)

Division: SC-33.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER
      (formerly SC-72 Life Sciences Division, OBER)


BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

Mar 23, 2021
Molecular Connections from Plants to Fungi to Ants
Lipids transfer energy and serve as an inter-kingdom communication tool in leaf-cutter ants&rsqu [more...]

Mar 19, 2021
Microbes Use Ancient Metabolism to Cycle Phosphorus
Microbial cycling of phosphorus through reduction-oxidation reactions is older and more widespre [more...]

Feb 22, 2021
Warming Soil Means Stronger Microbe Networks
Soil warming leads to more complex, larger, and more connected networks of microbes in those soi [more...]

Jan 27, 2021
Labeling the Thale Cress Metabolites
New data pipeline identifies metabolites following heavy isotope labeling.

Analysis [more...]

Aug 31, 2020
Novel Bacterial Clade Reveals Origin of Form I Rubisco

  • All plant biomass is sourced from the carbon-fixing enzyme Rub [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)