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DNA analyser, United States, 1999

DNA analyser, United States, 1999

Credits: Science Museum

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When this automatic DNA analyser was made in May 1999 it was the fastest machine on the market. Without automated machinery, scientists working on the Human Genome Project would not have completed the project within just thirteen years. The project, which aimed to sequence the chemical structure of human DNA and identify the genes that determine heredity, was completed in 2003. This machine was made by P E Biosystems, now part of Life Technologies.

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Glossary: DNA

DNA stores the information, or blueprints, of every cell and is located in the genes. It is made up of two strands which form a double helix that is linked by hydrogen bonds. It was first described in 1953 by Francis Crick and James Watson.

Glossary: gene

Part of the nucleus of a cell that determines how our bodies function. Genes are passed from parents to children.

Glossary: DNA analyser

Laboratory equipment for anaylsing DNA