MAURO FERMARIELLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MAURO FERMARIELLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mutant DNA sequence. Genetic sequence of a DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) molecule showing an alteration (arrow, bottom right; N, top right). Each coloured peak on the trace represents one of four nucleotides, the chemical units that make up DNA. The sequence of nucleotides along a molecule of DNA (coloured letters at top) is divided into regions known as genes, which provide the instructions for the production of proteins. Alteration of a single nucleotide in the sequence can cause abnormal protein production, resulting in disease. The DNA sample seen here was sequenced using coloured markers for each nucleotide that can be detected by a spectrophotometer.
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