Boston Probes' Micro Dx Probe in a FISH assay
Molecular biologists who happen upon the Boston Probes Web site might grin at what seems, at first glance, to be an apparent typo. "Partner with the Leader in PNA Technology," the site announces conspicuously. But there is no mistake. PNA (peptide nucleic acid) molecules are exciting and widely studied synthetic compounds with unique qualities and broad potential applications. With the recent release of its first commercial products, Boston Probes Inc. of Bedford, Mass., has introduced the PNA Micro Dx Probe, a fast, efficient, and highly accurate tool for identification of bacteria by FISH or Dot Blot analysis.

PNA, as its name implies, is a DNA mimic whose backbone is composed of repeating N-2-aminoethyl glycine units linked by amide bonds instead of the sugar-phosphate backbone of DNA. This unique structure lends impressive qualities. Though able to form base pairs normally, PNA is...

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