What Is a Probe Used for in Biology?


Quick Answer

In biology, probes are general terms for pieces of DNA or RNA that can be used to target specific sequences of DNA or RNA in cells and organisms. Probes can be customized in order to target specific organisms and cells for research.

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Full Answer

In biology, probes are created to correspond with a DNA or RNA sequence inside of an organism or cell. These probes may be radioactive or may not be, depending on the type of research being performed. Detectable molecules may also be connected to probes as well. Detectable molecules include biotin, fluorescein and digoxygenin. These molecules, or radioactive labeled molecules, can label genes of interest within cells and organisms.

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