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Protein Sequencer, Warrington, England,1980

The 477A protein sequencer was used in biotechnical research during the 1980s. It analysed proteins and peptides using a technique derived from the original discoveries of Swedish biochemist Pehr Edman (1916-77) in the 1950s. Edman developed a method, known as Edman degradation, to determine the sequence of amino acids in proteins. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. This machine was made by Applied Biosystems in California. Machines such as this, and its successors, have been essential to biotechnology laboratories. They have been used in the genetic modification of foods, animal cloning and genetic fingerprinting.

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Glossary: DNA

DNA stores the information, or blueprints, of every cell and is located in the genes. It is made up of two strands which form a double helix that is linked by hydrogen bonds. It was first described in 1953 by Francis Crick and James Watson.

Glossary: biochemistry

The study of the chemical processes and substances which occur in living organisms.

Glossary: enzyme

One of a group of complex organic substances formed in the living cells of plants and animals. A catalyst for the chemical reactions of biological processes.

Glossary: protein sequencer

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