DNA Fluorescence

Authored by: Dimitra Markovitsi , Thomas Gustavsson , Akos Banyasz

CRC Handbook of Organic Photochemistry and Photobiology

Print publication date:  March  2012
Online publication date:  March  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439899335
eBook ISBN: 9781466561250
Adobe ISBN:


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Talking about fluorescence with respect to DNA, one usually refers to fluorescent labels used extensively in biology and genetics. Yet DNA does emit fluorescence albeit with a low quantum yield, on the order of 10−4. Such weak emission, which so far prevented large-scale technological applications, may be precious in many respects provided that its properties are well understood. For example, it can contribute to elucidate questions such as the following: How did the building blocks of the genetic code “survive” when intense ultraviolet (UV) radiation was reaching the earth? What are the primary events leading to photochemical reactions that induce carcinogenic mutations? This is possible because following the time behavior of fluorescence brings information about the singlet electronic excited states and their relaxation.

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