<molecular biology> General term for the transfer of protein, RNA or DNA molecules from a relatively thick acrylamide or agarose gel or to a paper like membrane (usually nylon or nitrocellulose) by capilliarity or an electric field, preserving the spatial arrangment. Once on the membrane, the molecules are immobilised, typically by baking or by ultra violet irradiation and can then be detected at high sensitivity by hybridisation (in the case of DNA & RNA) or antibody labelling (in the case of protein). RNA blots are called Northern blots, DNA blots, Southern, protein blots, Western.

This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology

(11 Mar 2008)

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