Image for Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP)
Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP)

Related Terms

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Background

  • The molecule deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), found in the nucleus of every cell of every organism, contains the blueprints for that organism's growth and function. A gene is a short segment of DNA that can be assigned a function, such as designating the structure of a protein. All of the genes in an organism are collectively called the genome. Many segments of DNA do not code for proteins. Some turn genes on and some turn them off, but most genes are poorly understood at this time.
  • DNA is a long, complex chemical represented by a code of four nucleotides: adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G), and cytosine (C). Consequently, a code may read: "AATGCGCCTTTGAGGTC," and so on. Three letters in sequence designate an amino acid. Amino acids arranged linearly form a protein. Proteins are organic compounds required for the growth and maintenance of the body. Some proteins make nonprotein chemicals, such as cortisone and adrenaline, which the body needs to function.
  • The DNA of all humans is 99.9% identical. The remaining 0.1% accounts for all of the differences observed among individuals. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP, pronounced "snip") is a natural variation in the population. SNPs account for at least 90% of that 0.1%.
  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a molecular biology technique used to make copies of DNA for research. Normally, DNA is present in amounts too small for study. PCR uses special enzymes to make millions of copies of a specific piece of DNA. As PCR progresses, the DNA generated is used as a template for replication. This sets in motion a chain reaction in which the DNA template is amplified. With PCR it is possible to amplify a one or a few copies of a piece of DNA across several orders of magnitude, generating millions or more copies of the piece of DNA. PCR is used to amplify specific regions of a DNA strand (the DNA target). This can be a single gene or part of a gene.
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Methods

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Research

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Implications

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Limitations

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Safety

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Future Research

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.