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Automated nucleic acid extraction

Related Terms

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Background

  • Genes are found inside the cells of all organisms. Genes are located in a compartment within the cell called the nucleus. An individual's genes are present in a large molecule called DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), which looks like a twisted ladder. This unique shape is called a double helix. The sides of the double helix are made of alternating sugar and phosphate molecules. The "rungs" of the "ladder" are made of smaller molecules called nucleic acids, or nitrogen bases. There are four different types of these smaller molecules in DNA: adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine.
  • All genes are made up of different combinations of these four molecules, which are arranged in different lengths. The sequence of these molecules provides the "code," or instructions, for each of the genes involved in the development, growth, and function of all the cells in the body.
  • A copy of the information coded within the DNA is made. This copy, called messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), is then used as a code to make proteins. Proteins are the primary building blocks of the body and interact with other molecules, such as carbohydrates and lipids, to create the structure and function of cells. In this way, genes are used to create the proteins that make up an individual's body.
  • Viruses also contain genetic material, but in a much smaller amount. The genetic material of viruses is different from that of humans, because viruses can use DNA only or RNA only as their genetic material.
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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.