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What processes do they use in order to attain the DNA code from genetic material?

But DNA sequencing generally follows a few important series of steps, which were followed by the Human Genome Project when sequencing the human DNA for example. A more detailed version of this process can be found on the website: http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/faq/seqfacts.shtml#how But basically first they extract the DNA from a sample of cells such as hair, fur, or even an onion skin. Next, the sample is crushed to smaller pieces to make it easier to extract the DNA. Then a process called PCR (polymerase chain reaction) is used to make numerous copies of the DNA so it can be experimented on more easily. Afterwards, similar fragments of DNA are separated using a process called gel electrophoresis, that separates the differently colored fragments. More precisely, through an electrical process, the more charged smaller particles travel farther in the gel, and can be separated from the other fragments, and later on sequenced for their genetic code (done in pairs of three called codons, and using the four bases A, T, C, G).

- Answer provided by Harman Sawhney

Why is cold water better than warm water for extracting DNA? Can you please describe the extraction process?

Since the DNA extraction is a step wise process of breaking open cells and releasing the cell content it is essential that you keep all material on ice. During the process nucleases are released and the cold slows the process down until you add further reagents to denature those proteins that normally breakdown DNA.

- Answer provided by Dr. David Charest

How is genetic modification preformed (at the molecular level)?

There are many ways to "modify" a genome, from exposing cells to mutagens that can "knock out" the function of a gene, to splicing a novel gene into a genome.

- Answer provided by Dr. Robert Hanner

How have molecular biology techniques changed over time?

Lots. I started in molecular biology only 13 years ago. For the same amount of time and money, I can now collect about 10 million times as much DNA sequence information as I could back then. The technological changes are revolutionizing the way we do science and they are arguably the primary driving force behind the genomics revolution.

- Answer provided by Dr. Sean Myles

What exactly is a gene chip ?

A gene chip ( which is similar to a computer chip) is a device whereby all of your genes are represented and printed on the chip. When we take sample from someone, we isolate RNA ( expressed genes are RNA) and let it react with the gene chip. These samples or expressed genes will have a flourescent tag, and we can monitor which genes are expressed in the sample.

- Answer provided by Dr. Dennis McCormac

Do you think that the use of DNA replication to produce clones is an efficient process?

DNA replication is a process in a cell to produce more of itself. It definitely is an efficient process and has many mechanisms involved to correct mistakes.

- Answer provided by Dr. Dennis McCormac

What are the uses of immortalized cell lines (DNA)?

When patients come into the hospital we like to collect blood from them especially if we are studying them for a disease cohort. We immortalize their cells so that do not have to come back for us to collect more blood. We can continuously go back to the immortalized cell line, grow them up, make sure all the chromosome are normal and we isolate the DNA again. This all has to be done with a patient's consent by through an GE3LS approval letter. We can use these cell lines for DNA sequencing, cell assays etc.

- Answer provided by Dr. Dennis McCormac


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