Researchers from the Broad Institute have developed what they've dubbed "DNA microscopy," as GenomeWeb has reported.
As the team reports in Cell, their DNA microscopy approach relies on labeling DNA and amplifying it, then concatenating it and establishing diffusion clouds. Then, based on their physical proximity, an algorithm teases out spatial information. "DNA microscopy captures both genetic and spatial information simultaneously," first author Joshua Weinstein, a postdoc at the Broad, says at the New York Times. "That's what's really beautiful about it."
Additionally, Weinstein tells GenomeWeb that the approach doesn't require extra specialized equipment, other than a sequencer and reaction chambers that are described in the paper. "It's imaging from the cell's point of view," he tells GenomeWeb.
Because the approach doesn't rely on a microscope, the Times notes that the name "DNA microscopy" might be a "misnomer."
"The researchers didn't use any kind of microscope," Ulrike Boehm from Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Janelia Research Campus tells it. "What the researchers did is more like DNA mapping."
He adds, thought that "[t]his is very powerful technology."