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Name: Sarajane L Burr
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Question:
How do you read DNA?



Replies:
There are two general strategies to sequencing (reading ) DNA. One way is to break the DNA down piece by piece one or a few bases at a time but this is not a very efficient way. Most sequencing today is done using enzymes that make copies of the DNA one bases at a time. For instance, if you had a piece of DNA that was 100 bases long, using enzyme you would make a replica that was one base, two bases , three bases... up to 100 hundred bases long. These replicas would end in one of the four bases that make up DNA: A,G,C, or T. Each of these replicas traditionally was made to be radioactive and they were separated in a thin sheet of plastic between to glass plates. by electricity (electrophoresis). When the plates are separated a sheet of film is placed on the plastic gel. When developed, there are bands that can be read to give the sequence. Many laboratories today use fluorescent labeling of the DNA and machines can detect a specific bases by there emission spectrum. A molecular biology text book will supply you a nice diagram explaining this in a much simpler way. GOOD LUCK!!!

Michael B Lomonaco



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