NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Gene expression research. Light micrograph of a mouse oocyte (egg cell precursor) that is expressing an oncogene (a cancer-causing gene). The technique being used to test its expression is called in situ hybridization. This involves creating and labelling in the laboratory a single-stranded DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) section that includes the oncogene, and introducing it to the cell. Here it is bonding to the single-stranded RNA (ribonucleic acid) (seen as black dots) made by the natural oncogene inside the cell nucleus. This shows that this oncogene is active (switched on) and suggests it is critical for normal germ cell development.
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