JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Pre-natal diagnosis of Down's Syndrome. Fluo- rescence in situ hybridization (FISH) micrograph of chromosomes from a Down's Syndrome foetus. The chromosomes are the elongated structures, coming from the cell nucleus (round). The FISH technique enables chromosomes to be tagged with fluorescent dyes to highlight genetic traits. Here, pink dots highlight 3 copies of chromosome 21, the cause of Down's Syndrome (trisomy 21). This research is being conducted at Cytocell Ltd, a British bio- technology company. Cytocell is developing a kit to detect Down's Syndrome as early as 12 weeks in pregnancy from foetal cells in the mother's blood. FISH is also being used to diagnose cancer genes.
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