JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Gene research into breast cancer. A grid of DNA fragments is seen, making up human chromosome 17. Scientists have isolated chromosome 17 to be the site of a defective gene responsible for many cases of inherited breast cancer. This grid represents 20,736 (144x144) pieces of DNA, each of 40 kilobase length, which have been spotted onto filter paper. An X-ray plate has been superimposed onto the grid, showing some DNA fragments tagged with a radioactive marker (dark spots). These tagged DNA fragments, which may correspond to genes, have been hybridised (attached) to specific parts of chromosome 17. It is a technique which enables researchers to map genes on a chromosome.
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