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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Technical Competence in Paraffin-Based Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH). Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Metaphase Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH)

In traditional cytogenetics laboratories, cultured cells from blood and amniotic fluids are harvested so that many of the cells will be in "metaphase." Metaphase is a phase of the cell cycle in which the chromosomes are lined up on the metaphase plate, just before segregating into daughter cells. Cells are treated with inhibitors, such as colchicine, to stop division. This is followed by a hypotonic solution, such as 0.075 M potassium chloride (KCl). The cells are then ready to be "dropped" onto a slide which will rupture the cells, resulting in metaphase spreads across the slide. The metaphase slide can then be assayed with any type of FISH probe.