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The origin of in situ hybridization – A personal history
- Gall, Joseph G.
- Methods 2016 v.98 pp. 4-9
- Drosophila, RNA, Xenopus, autoradiography, chromosomes, fluorescent dyes, frogs, in situ hybridization, mice, oocytes, ribosomal DNA, satellite DNA
- In situ hybridization is the technique by which specific RNA or DNA molecules are detected in cytological preparations. Basically it involves formation of a hybrid molecule between an endogenous single-stranded RNA or DNA in the cell and a complementary single-stranded RNA or DNA probe. In its original form the probe was labeled with ³H and the hybrid was detected by autoradiography. The first successful experiments in 1968 involved detection of the highly amplified ribosomal DNA in oocytes of the frog Xenopus, followed soon after by the reiterated “satellite DNA” in mouse and Drosophila chromosomes. Fluorescent probes were developed about ten years later.