DNA tools and techniques

In recent times there has been many revelations in DNA technology and continual research is being conducted to continue to further the field. VCE biology examines some of the most common and basic DNA technologies that are currently used.

Tools of a geneticist

In order to carry out the DNA technologies a geneticist must have particular tools to allow them to carry out particular technologies these include:

Restriction enzymes (endonucleases)

Enzymes that are used to cleave DNA at particular recognition sequences. They can produce blunt ends whereby the DNA is cleaved at the same position on each strand or sticky ends where the DNA is cut to produce overhanging edges.

Ligase

An enzyme used to join segments of DNA together to act as a “glue” for the DNA

Vectors

An agent such as a plasmid or a virus that is able to transport DNA into the cell of interest.

Probes

Single –stranded segment of DNA or RNA with a base sequence that is complementary to that in a target strand of DNA that carries a radioactive or fluorescent label to detect it. Probes are used to highlight a segment of DNA of interest.

DNA technologies

The DNA technologies to be concerned with for VCE Biology include: