This technology, when combined with the recent discovery of "a genetic switch that determines aging ... for C. elegans
" (see http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150723125244.htm
), could potentially speed up research on discovering how to turn off the gene for aging.
Unfortunately, Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties has filed a utility patent for this technology.
According to the article,
"A new technology that will dramatically enhance investigations of epigenomes, the machinery that turns on and off genes and a very prominent field of study in diseases such as stem cell differentiation, inflammation and cancer, is reported on today in the research journal Nature Methods.
"The latest breakthrough comes from [Chang] Lu's collaboration with Kai Tan at the University of Iowa, a systems biologist and associate professor of internal medicine. Together, they demonstrated that a technique called microfluidic oscillatory washing based chromatin immunoprecipitation (MOWChIP-Seq) allows analysis of epigenomic modifications using as few as 100 cells. The description of this advance is in the Nature Methods paper.
"The entire MOWChIP process takes about 90 minutes as opposed to many hours that conventional ChIP assays took.
""Our technology paves the way for studies of epigenomes with extremely low number of cells from animals and from patients," Lu said.
"Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties has filed a utility patent on MOWChIP-Seq on the behalf of Lu."