Maureen McKeague

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A DNA aptamer with high affinity and specificity to ochratoxin A (OTA) was conjugated to a coupling gel and used as sorbent for the preparation of solid phase extraction (SPE) columns. The SPE columns packed with 300μl oligosorbent (24nmol DNA) showed a linear (r=0.999) behaviour in the range of 0.4-500ng OTA. After optimisation of the extraction step, SPE(More)
Aptamers are single-stranded oligonucleotides that bind to targets with high affinity and selectivity. Their use as molecular recognition elements has emerged as a viable approach for biosensing, diagnostics, and therapeutics. Despite this potential, relatively few aptamers exist that bind to small molecules. Small molecules are important targets for(More)
It is well known that using random RNA/DNA sequences for SELEX experiments will generally yield low-complexity structures. Early experimental results suggest that having a structurally diverse library, which, for instance, includes high-order junctions, may prove useful in finding new functional motifs. Here, we develop two computational methods to generate(More)
Nucleic acid aptamers are novel molecular recognition tools that offer many advantages compared to their antibody and peptide-based counterparts. However, challenges associated with in vitro selection, characterization, and validation have limited their wide-spread use in the fields of diagnostics and therapeutics. Here, we extracted detailed information(More)
Fumonisins are mycotoxins produced by Fusarium verticillioides and F. proliferatum, fungi that are ubiquitous in corn (maize). Insect damage and some other environmental conditions result in the accumulation of fumonisins in corn-based products worldwide. Current methods of fumonisin detection rely on the use of immunoaffinity columns and high-performance(More)
Nucleic acid aptamers are emerging as useful molecular recognition tools for food safety monitoring. However, practical and technical challenges limit the number and diversity of available aptamer probes that can be incorporated into novel sensing schemes. This work describes the selection of novel DNA aptamers that bind to the important food contaminant(More)
The past decade of synthetic biology research has witnessed numerous advances in the development of tools and frameworks for the design and characterization of biological systems. Researchers have focused on the use of RNA for gene expression control due to its versatility in sensing molecular ligands and the relative ease by which RNA can be modeled and(More)
Over the past several decades, rapid developments in both molecular and information technology have collectively increased our ability to understand molecular recognition. One emerging area of interest in molecular recognition research includes the isolation of aptamers. Aptamers are single-stranded nucleic acid or amino acid polymers that recognize and(More)
Nucleic acid aptamers are versatile molecular recognition agents that bind to their targets with high selectivity and affinity. The past few years have seen a dramatic increase in aptamer development and interest for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. As the applications for aptamers expand, the need for a more standardized, stringent, and informative(More)
Nucleic acid aptamers find widespread use as targeting and sensing agents in nature and biotechnology. Their ability to bind an extensive range of molecular targets, including small molecules, proteins, and ions, with high affinity and specificity enables their use in diverse diagnostic, therapeutic, imaging, and gene-regulatory applications. Here, we(More)