Molecular beacon genetic probe. Computer graphic of a molecular beacon (MB) genetic probe designed to detect a target sequence of nucleic acids. The probe is a single-stranded DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) detector that uses a novel method of fluorescence for detection. A fluorophore molecule (blue sphere) on the probe is kept inert (upper left) by a "quencher" molecule (red sphere). At right, the probe has now bound with its target molecule (blue strand). The fluorophore molecule is activated and will glow (upper right) under ultraviolet (UV) light. Such molecular beacon techniques allow extremely specific targetting of different nucleic acid codes for genetic research.
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