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DNA testing kit, United States, 1999

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Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) is the chemical that carries the genetic information in the cell. This kit was for analysing DNA. Each of the tiny elements on a special silicon chip (known as a SpectroCHIP) contains genetic information about an individual, which can be analysed. Scientists compare tiny differences in the DNA fragments between thousands of people. They hope to discover how these genetic changes affect a person’s response to new drugs or susceptibility to disease. This technology was developed in the 1990s by Sequenom, in San Diego, California.

Object number:

2000-795

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Glossary: stem-cell research

Stem cells are cells that can develop into specialised cells and have a unlimited number of times it can divide. Stem cells in an embryo are capable of developing into the cells and thus organs and tissues a health adult requires. The use and research into stem cells is controversial.