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D. A New Method Helps Scientists Decipher the Book of Life

Narrator: This is Science Today. As one can very well imagine, trying to find all of the genes encoded within the DNA that make up our chromosomes has been a very difficult task. But new technology is helping. At the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, scientists developed a process called Gene Recovery Microdissection, which can identify all of the genes that belong to a specific part of each individual chromosome.

Coleman: Even though you hear about we've completed the human genome, if we considered the human genome to be a book, we've kind of found all the words in the book, but we don't exactly understand the chapters and paragraphs and the sentences that link it all together that help us to understand and read the book. And that's what gene recovery microdissection does for you.

Narrator: This technique can even be used to understand bacteria species that can't ever be grown in the lab.

Coleman: We can, without culturing a bacteria in a lab, isolate its DNA, amplify it and clone it so that we can sequence it and understand their entire genome.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.