The ultra-sensitive magneto-mechanical detection of DNA, single-base-mismatches in nucleic acids, and the assay of telomerase activity are accomplished by monitoring the magnetically induced deflection of a cantilever functionalized with magnetic beads associated with the biosensing interface. The analyzed M13φ DNA hybridized with the nucleic acid-functionalized magnetic beads is replicated in the presence of dNTPs that include biotin-labeled dUTP. The resulting beads are attached to an avidin-coated cantilever, and the modified cantilever is deflected by an external magnetic field. Similarly, telomerization of nucleic acid-modified magnetic beads in the presence of dNTPs, biotin-labeled dUTP, and telomerase from cancer cell extracts and the subsequent association of the magnetic beads to the cantilever surface results in the lever deflection by an external magnetic field. M13φ DNA is sensed with a sensitivity limit of 7.1 × 10-20 M by the magneto-mechanical detection method.