Recombinant DNA technology, as reviewed in the last chapter, is designed to detect alterations in the genome down to the level of a single nucleotide alteration. Sometimes, however, we want a broader analysis of the DNA complement of a population of cells. The technology of automated single-cell analysis, flow or image cytometry, fills this need and bridges the gap between molecular analysis and examination of the whole cell. Cytometry is an older technology than recombinant DNA, and has well-established applications in the areas of cancer diagnosis and immunology. Cytometry labs are becoming common in larger medical facilities. This chapter examines the tools of cytometry including the flow and image systems currently available. The biology of the cell division cycle, which is the basis of DNA ploidy and S phase measurements in tumors, is presented first followed by clinical examples in cancer diagnosis. The application of cytometry to immunology is presented briefly and expanded upon in the section on AIDS in Chapter 5.
KeywordsDown Syndrome Cell Analysis Cell Division Cycle Extra Chromosome Image Cytometry
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