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04/10/2013

Tiny chip sequences DNA in one hour

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    A new chip about half the size of a business card will be able to automate all the stages of DNA testing, and could help make personalized treatments more widespread.
    To being the DNA testing process, a drop of blood will be mixed with a chemical substrate and then dropped onto the chip. The rest of the process will be automatic, as the DNA will be extracted from the solution and the regions containing the SNPs will be cut out and amplified by a technology called PCR. The PCR process, which will vary the temperature to cut out the desired sections, will take place in about nine minutes, significantly less time than the previous wait of two hours, and the patient's SNPs will be identified within about an hour instead of three to four days.
    Detecting SNPs is an important step in determining the existence of genetically transferred diseases and helps to identify genes related to illnesses.
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Jack Brown
 
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