Diligent work performed at the laboratory bench during the 20th century has resulted in advances in the health care industry and benefits for the patients it serves. Time-saving laboratory techniques such as DNA isolation and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) have helped molecular biologists and geneticists learn more about genes and their function. Information resulting from genetic research is currently used by medical researchers to devolop genetic testing, genetic engineering, and gene therapy procedures that will benefit patients with genetic needs. This article provides basic information regarding several of these procedures, including DNA isolation, PCR, gel electrophoresis, and restriction enzyme techniques. In addition, the article explores the experiences of a clinical nurse, who by learning genetic laboratory techniques, developed an appreciation of the nursing implications related to genetic laboratory procedures

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