The overall objective is the development of a new innovative technology that will allow for the efficient sequencing of long stretches of unmodified DNA. Genomic sequence information will provide a concrete basis for understanding living organisms. Comparisons between the genomes of identical species will provide greater insight into the genetic basis of complex phenotypes, and the molecular pathways that lead to individual characteristics. In addition, the future availability of the complete human genome sequence from multiple individuals, will facilitate the development of a host of practical medical diagnostics and treatments, such as the identification of inherited genetic disorders, tests for cancer and related diseases, or genetic-based therapies. The resulting genomic sequence information will provide a crucial informational database that will improve the condition of human health, and catalyze both basic science research programs and functional studies at the genome level. The technology is based on the defection and recognition of the characteristic vibrational states (Raman spectrum) for each of the individual DNA bases, following prior separation by enzymatic digestion. The instrumentation and protocols under development will be capable of measuring the Raman spectrum for the spread-out series of individual isolated DNA bases, thereby identifying which of the DNA bases is present, as well as their correct sequential order.
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