DNA is a dynamic and adaptable molecule.
As such, the nucleotide sequences found within it are subject to change as the result of a phenomenon called mutation.
Depending on how a particular mutation modifies an organism's genetic makeup, it can prove harmless, helpful, or even hurtful.
DNA-functionalization of quantum dots is the attachment of strands of DNA to the surface of a quantum dot. Although quantum dots with Cd have some cytotoxic release, researchers have functionalized quantum dots for biocompatibility and bound them to DNA in order to combine the advantages of both materials. Quantum dots are commonly used for imaging biological systems in vitro and in vivo in animal studies due to their excellent optical properties when excited by light, while DNA has numerous bioengineering applications, including: genetic engineering, self-assembling nanostructures, protein binding, and biomarkers. The ability to visualize the chemical and biological processes of DNA allows feedback to optimize and learn about these small scale behaviors.
Quantum dots are inorganic nanocrystal semiconductors that behave exceptionally well as fluorophores. In the field of biology, fluorophores are one of the few tools that allow us to peer inside of a live biological system at a cellular level. As a fluorophore, the size of a quantum dot directly reflects the wavelength of light emitted, allowing for a highly tunable color spectrum.
A spectrum disorder is a mental disorder that includes a range of linked conditions, sometimes also extending to include singular symptoms and traits. The different elements of a spectrum either have a similar appearance or are thought to be caused by the same underlying mechanism.
Quantum dots (QDs) are luminescent nanoparticles with unique optical properties that have been exploited for single-cell and whole-animal imaging. When coated with proteins or biocompatible polymers, QDs are not deleterious to cells and organisms. However, when QDs are retained in cells or accumulated in the body for a long period of time, their coatings may be degraded, yielding “naked” QDs. Here, we show that “naked” QDs induce damage to the plasma membrane, mitochondrion, and nucleus, leading to cell death. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are important players in mediating QD-induced cellular damage.