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Reading DNA sequence

To read the order of letters - or base pairs - in the DNA code, scientists must first break up each chromosome into a set of overlapping pieces. They then use machines to read the order of the letters (the DNA sequence) in each piece. With the aid of computers and the chromosome maps, they reconstruct the order of letters in the complete chromosome.

Scientist loading an automated DNA sequencing machine (left) and reading the results (right).
Scientist loading an automated DNA sequencing machine (left) and reading the results (right).
Science & Society Picture Library

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