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Clin Chim Acta. 2006 Jul 23;369(2):188-92. Epub 2006 Mar 28.

Molecular diagnostics: a historical perspective.

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Department of Pathology, Dartmouth Medical School and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, One Medical Center Drive, Lebanon, NH 03756, USA.


The rapid growth in molecular diagnostic testing, which has averaged between 10% and 20% per year for the past 5 years, is largely attributable to both breakthroughs in our basic understanding (i.e., the Human Genome Project) and in applied technology. In the past decade, molecular applications have moved from labor-intensive and manual to rapid and automated due to improvements in sample extraction, target amplification, and sensitive and specific detection schema. This review describes some of the more significant technological milestones of the past 10 years and, when tied to basic and applied research, how these have led to important clinical applications. The next decade promises even more exciting technologies and applications for the field of molecular laboratory medicine.

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