HANK MORGAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HANK MORGAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Automated DNA synthesizer. A technician preparing an automated DNA synthesizer, a programmable device which allows its user to make high-purity lengths of DNA (oligonucleotides) of known base sequences. A nucleotide is the functional unit of a length of DNA and consists of a ribose sugar, a phosphate group and one of four organic bases (adenine, guanine, thymine and cytosine). The proportion and sequence of these bases along an oligonucleotide determine its genetic properties. The bottles at bottom of image contain high-purity reagents required for the various syntheses. DNA synthesizers are used to create genetic material for incorporation into cells for research.
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