Modern Techniques for DNA, RNA, and Protein Assessment

  • Jurgis Alvikas
  • Matthew D. NealEmail author
Part of the Success in Academic Surgery book series (SIAS)


Advances in molecular and cellular biology have led to an in-depth understanding of the basic mechanisms of life and disease. Elucidation of principles of genetic information storage in DNA, transcription of this information into RNA, and translation of RNA into proteins have led to an exponential growth of techniques useful for screening, diagnosis, prognostication, and treatment. In a wide range of medical and surgical specialties, many of these techniques are already standard of care and are used on a daily basis. In an emerging model of precision medicine, data from DNA, RNA, and protein assessment of an individual patient will be used to guide their care. While much progress has been made, our understanding of majority of surgical diseases is incomplete. An academic surgeon with a career of scientific pursuit must have a thorough understanding of the current state of laboratory techniques for DNA, RNA, and protein analysis and of the knowledge gaps that future investigations should address. This chapter reviews the basics of genetic, genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomic analyses.


DNA RNA Protein Sequencing Chromosome Microarray PCR Gel electrophoresis Centrifugation Chromatography Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) Western blot Southern blot Northern blot Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) Flow cytometry Sequencing 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversity of Pittsburgh Medical CenterPittsburghUSA

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