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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Fundamentals of Molecular Diagnostics. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Direct Nucleic Acid Tests

Southern Blot: Employs a restriction endonuclease enzyme to cleave DNA in the cell nucleus. DNA detection is done using agarose gel electrophoresis.
Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization (FISH): Uses RNA Northern Blot or DNA Southern Blot techniques to detect targets of interest in cytology/histology specimens or other nucleic acid variations.
DNA fingerprinting: Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP): Cuts long DNA into shorter fragments before detection to isolate changes or polymorphisms. These can either be detected by Southern Blot or by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).