Nucleic acids are the key biomolecules in living organisms and thus the origin of life. The current analyses of nucleic acids can be divided into two groups in terms of their research setting: technically demanding, biological analyses in one group and more applied, amplification-based assays in the other. In our research at SDU we aim at integrating the settings of these two groups into a single, highly informative , fast and reliable approach. Importantly, our goal is to do that without the use of enzymatic reactions or other techniques that interfere with the initial sample. In that way the black box of the nucleic acids at low abundance levels and in biologically most relevant environment can be opened up. This key difference to the existing analyses therefore holds a profound potential for providing new knowledge about nucleic acid structures, their interactions, and, at the same time, improve the method of detection.
During the talk I will present our most recent findings, i.e. discuss how combining the unique properties of synthetic nucleic acid analogues with innovative computational models and biophysical methods can lead to new approaches to the detection of nucleic acid mutations.