Color-Coded Chromosomes

By mixing fluorescent dyes like an artist mixes paints, scientists are able to color code individual chromosomes. The technique, abbreviated multicolor-FISH, allows researchers to visualize genetic abnormalities often linked to disease. In this image, "painted" chromosomes from a person with a hereditary disease called Werner Syndrome show where a piece of one chromosome has fused to another (see the gold-tipped maroon chromosome in the center). As reported by molecular biologist Jan Karlseder of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, such damage is typical among people with this rare syndrome. Courtesy of Anna Jauch, Institute of Human Genetics, Heidelberg, Germany.

Featured in the March 21, 2007, issue of Biomedical Beat.
High res. image (67 KB JPEG)