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GEN’s editorial staff interviews life science academic and biotech industry leaders on important research, technology, and trends. These podcasts will keep you informed with all the important details you need.

Better approaches for manipulating DNA in the laboratory may soon be possible with newly discovered deoxyribozymes that are capable of cleaving single-stranded DNA, according to researchers at the University of Illinois. The deoxyribozymes accomplish the DNA cleavage with the sequence-selectivity and site-selectivity required for a practical catalyst, they add.

During this week's podcast Dr. Scott Silverman describes how his team discovered the new deoxyribozymes and looks at comparisons to restriction enzymes. He also discusses the significance of the finding for the life science research community.

Dr. Silverman explains why he finds it intriguing that the novel deoxyribozymes require two metal ions, manganese and zinc, to carry out their catalysis and talks about where further research on these catalytic DNA molecules may be headed.
Professor Silverman received the B.S. degree in chemistry from UCLA in 1991. He obtained the Ph.D. degree in chemistry from Caltech in 1997, working with Dennis Dougherty on physical-organic chemistry and molecular neurobiology, and he performed postdoctoral research with Thomas Cech at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He joined the faculty at the University of Illinois in 2000, working in the areas of organic chemistry and chemical biology.

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