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BER Research Highlights

Published: October 17, 2001
Posted: October 25, 2001

A major scaleup in DNA analytical capabilities which bypasses many commonly used steps is being commercialized. The basic technology was developed by Dr. George Church at the Harvard Medical School under DOE Human Genome Program support, and has been licensed to Novation, Inc., in Brooklie, MA. DNA fragments are separately immobilized in a thin gel sheet and impregnated with reagents supporting the DNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Each DNA bit is thus amplified into many compactly located copies, together called a "polony". The gel sheet containing millions of polonies is suitable for a variety of analytical tests including screening for particular target DNAs, such as those encoding bacterial toxins, viral components, cancer genes, etc. When an interesting target polony is recognized, its DNA can be sequenced, to fully identify the encoded gene and/or its source organism and chromosomal location. The great power of this technology is its ability to screen millions of targets very quickly and to screen the DNA of organisms that cannot be grown in culture.

Contact: Marvin Stodolsky, SC-72, 3-4475
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Genomic Analysis and Systems Biology
  • Legacy: Human Genome Project (1990-2003)

Division: SC-33.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER
      (formerly SC-72 Life Sciences Division, OBER)


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