Recent advances in the development of nucleic acid diagnostics
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O'Connor L, Glynn B. (2010) 'Recent advances in the development of nucleic acid diagnostics' Expert Rev Med Devices. 2010 Jul 7(4):529-39
Since the early 1970s, the use of nucleic acid sequences for specific diagnostic applications has followed a somewhat linear pattern of development. Early methods for restriction enzyme digestion, as well as reverse transcription, were followed in the late 1970s by Southern, northern and dot blotting, as well as DNA sequencing. In 1985, the description of PCR and the routine laboratory manipulation of sufficient quantities of DNA for diagnostics, resulted in the exponential growth of molecular biology. Subsequently, alternative DNA and RNA amplification protocols followed. The last 10 years have seen the second explosion in molecular biology with the development of real-time quantitative PCR and oligonucleotide microarrays. This advancement continues with the development of methods for 'direct' nucleic acid target detection from samples without in vitro amplification, and enhanced transduction elements for improved sensitivity of nucleic acid detection. In this article, we will describe the current state of the art in nucleic acid diagnostics, the use of nucleic acid-based diagnostics in clinical practice and the emerging technologies in the field. Finally, we will describe future trends and expected advances in the field.