ZHANG Zhongping and colleagues at CAS Hefei Institute of Physical Sciences have developed a spherical nucleic acid beacon (SNAB) probe based on specific double-stranded DNA tagged with biocompatible Au nanoparticles which binds to telomerase, a hallmark of rapidly multiplying cancer cells. The SNAB technology outperforms the gold standard method of telomerase activity measurement using PCR in terms of flexibility because it is applicable to both single cells and solid tumors in vivo, beyond cell lysates.

CAS news release, April 13, 2018