Molecular biology I: The ABCs of DNA

J. Wisecarver

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Molecular techniques are being used increasingly to provide diagnostic and prognostic information about patient specimens. This article provides the information necessary to begin to understand the molecular basis of such testing. We will discuss some of the chemical and physical properties of DNA that can be exploited to provide useful clinical information. DNA is a double-stranded molecule, with the strands arranged in opposite or antiparallel fashion. These strands can be separated, or denatured, to allow access to the information contained within each strand. After these strands have been denatured, several laboratory techniques can be used to examine the structural information encoded therein. We also discuss methods for extracting DNA from tissues and cells and some of the basic laboratory tools and techniques used in working with DNA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-52
Number of pages5
JournalLaboratory medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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