Jacqueline K. Barton

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Barton discovered that DNA conducts electric current but not as well — or not at all — when its tight organization is disrupted by damage from certain chemicals or mutations. That finding should allow researchers to look for mutations, using chips made of strands of DNA attached to gold on silicon wafers. Barton is investigating whether nature has developed tactics to cope with such damage: “Are there important sites that are insulated? Where are electrons funneled? This makes us think about DNA in an entirely new way.”

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