We describe biosensor elements that are capable of identifying individual DNA strands with single-base resolution. Each biosensor element consists of an individual DNA oligonucleotide covalently attached within the lumen of the alpha-hemolysin (alphaHL) pore to form a "DNA-nanopore". The binding of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) molecules to the tethered DNA strand causes changes in the ionic current flowing through a nanopore. On the basis of DNA duplex lifetimes, the DNA-nanopores are able to discriminate between individual DNA strands up to 30 nucleotides in length differing by a single base substitution. This was exemplified by the detection of a drug resistance-conferring mutation in the reverse transcriptase gene of HIV. In addition, the approach was used to sequence a complete codon in an individual DNA strand tethered to a nanopore.