We have used an atomic force microscope to examine a clinically derived sample of single-molecule gene transcripts, in the form of double-stranded cDNA, (c: complementary) obtained from human cardiac muscle without the use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification. We observed a log-normal distribution of transcript sizes, with most molecules being in the range of 0.4-7.0 kilobase pairs (kb) or 130-2300 nm in contour length, in accordance with the expected distribution of mRNA (m: messenger) sizes in mammalian cells. We observed novel branching structures not previously known to exist in cDNA, and which could have profound negative effects on traditional analysis of cDNA samples through cloning, PCR and DNA sequencing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering