Sequencing may arguably be the premier technology of the eighties and nineties, but it has its shortcomings. For projects requiring frequent sampling or high sensitivity, conventional sequencing can be too labor intensive and expensive for laboratories outside the dedicated, high throughput sequencing centers. But a new technology is on the horizon--actually well over the horizon--that can provide genetic information simply and quickly.

The discovery of a unique class of structure-specific endonucleases, or Cleavase® enzymes, has paved the way for the development of a novel set of molecular genetics assays (for review of structure specific nucleases, see M. Lieber, BioEssays, 19:233-40, 1997). One such assay, the CFLP® assay, is based on the ability of the Cleavase enzyme to recognize DNA secondary structures that form as DNA cools following brief thermal denaturation and to cut these structures, creating a unique "fingerprint" pattern of bands. (V. Lyamichev, M. Brow, and...

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