The identification of pre-defined mutations expected to be present in a minor fraction of a cell population is important for a variety of basic research and clinical applications. The exponential, analog nature of the polymerase chain reaction is transformed into a linear, digital signal suitable for this purpose. Single molecules can be isolated by dilution and individually amplified; each product is then separately analyzed for the presence of pre-defined mutations. The process provides a reliable and quantitative measure of the proportion of variant sequences within a DNA sample.
VOGELSTEIN BERT [US]; KINZLER KENNETH W [US]
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