By Peter D Turnpenny BSc MB ChB FRCP FRCPCH

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H i g h - r e s o l u t i obna n d i n g G banding generallyprovides high-quality chromosomeanalysis with approximately 400 to 500 bands per haploid set. e. 6-8megabases) of DNA. This involvesfirst inhibiting cell division with an agent such as methotrexateor thymidine. Folic acid or deoxy-cytidineis added to the culture medium, releasingthe cells into mitosis. Colchicine is then added at a specifictime interval, when a higher proportion of cellswill be in prometaphaseand the chromosomeswill not be fully contracted,giving a more detailed banding pattern.

In contrast, heterochromatiz stainsdarkly and is made up largelv of inactive,unexpressed,repetitive DNA The total number of chromosomes in different organisms varies considerably but is constant for any particular species. Among these primates the chromosomes of the chimpanzee most closely resemble those of humans. This is consistent u'ith the fact that there is a difference of only lolo between human and chimpanzee DNA. 3 P u n n e t ts' sq u a r seh o w i nsge xc h r o m o s o mceo m b i n a t r of o n rs -- ^ -^!

The code is degenerate,as all but two amino acids are specifiedby more than one codon. @ fn. major control of gene expressionis at the level of transcription by DNA regulatory sequencesin the 5' flanking promoter region of structural genesin eukaryotes. General and specifictranscription factorsare alsoinvolved in the regulation of Benes. @ Mutations occur both spontaneouslyand as a result of exposureto mutagenicagentssuch asionizing radiation. Mutations are continuously corrected by DNA repair enzvmes.

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