Catalytic Nucleic Acid Biosensors for Environmental Monitoring
The discovery that nucleic acids can perform catalytic functions in addition to being genetic information carriers has opened doors to a new paradigm in chemistry and biology. It was thought previously that all biological enzymes were proteins, but discoveries made over the last 30 years have changed this perception. In this chapter the properties of RNAzymes, DNAzymes, and aptazymes are illustrated. The application of these novel catalytic molecules to environmental monitoring is discussed.