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Frederick Sanger develops rapid DNA sequencing technique

Frederick Sanger

Frederick Sanger develops rapid DNA sequencing technique

In 1977, Frederick Sanger developed the classical “rapid DNA sequencing” technique, now known as the Sanger method, to determine the order of bases in a strand of DNA. Special enzymes are used to synthesize short pieces of DNA, which end when a selected “terminating” base is added to the stretch of DNA being synthesized. Typically, each of these terminating bases is tagged with a radioactive marker, so it can be identified. Then the DNA fragments, of varying lengths, are separated by how rapidly they move through a gel matrix when an electric field is applied – a technique called electrophoresis. Frederick Sanger shared the 1980 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his contributions to DNA-sequencing methods.
1977