In Situ Hybridization - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics

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In Situ Hybridization

In situ hybridization is a technique used to detect specific DNA and RNA sequences in a biological sample. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA) are macromolecules made up of different sequences of four nucleotide bases (adenine, guanine, uracil, cytosine, and thymidine). In situ hybridization takes advantage of the fact that each nucleotide base binds with a complementary nucleotide base. For instance, adenine binds with thymidine (in DNA) or uracil (in RNA) using hydrogen bonding. Similarly, guanine binds with cytosine.

In a specialized molecular biology laboratory, researchers can make a sequence of nucleotide bases that is complementary to a target sequence that occurs naturally in a cell (in a gene, for example). When this complementary sequence is exposed to the cell, it will bind with that naturally occuring target DNA or RNA in that cell, thus forming what is known as a hybrid. The...

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This section contains 1,535 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
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Macmillan Science Library: Genetics
In Situ Hybridization from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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