News of the WeekDNA IMAGING

Getting a Feel for Genetic Variations

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Science  07 Jul 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5476, pp. 27-28
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5476.27a

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A team of researchers has come up with a novel atomic imaging microscope that may dramatically speed the task of linking genetic variants to diseases. The microscope is a modification of the popular atomic force microscope (AFM), which uses an ultrasharp tip to map surfaces of everything from computer chips to DNA at the atomic level. By using this molecule-sized tip, the researchers were able get their AFM to march down a strand of DNA and identify uniquely shaped reporter molecules engineered to tag the genetic variations.