ISPE Glossary of Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Terminology

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Autoradiography

A technique that captures the image formed in a photographic emulsion as a result of the emission of either light or radioactivity from a labelled component that is placed next to unexposed film. The technique is used for detecting the location of an isotope in a tissue, cell or molecule. The sample is placed in contact with a photographic emulsion, usually an X-ray film.

The emission of beta-particles from the sample activates the silver halide grains in the emulsion and allows them to reduce to metallic silver when the film is developed. In genetic engineering, autoradiography is most commonly used to detect the hybridization of a radioactive DNA (probe) molecule to denatured DNA in either the Southern transfer or colony hybridization procedures.

Publication Source: Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Publication Date: 1999

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