NCI Dictionary of Genetics Terms

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Welcome to the NCI Dictionary of Genetics Terms, which contains technical definitions for more than 150 terms related to genetics. These definitions were developed by the PDQ® Cancer Genetics Editorial Board to support the evidence-based, peer-reviewed PDQ cancer genetics information summaries.

fluorescence in situ hybridization
(floor-EH-sents in SY-too HY-brih-dih-ZAY-shun)
A technique used to identify the presence of specific chromosomes or chromosomal regions through hybridization (attachment) of fluorescently-labeled DNA probes to denatured chromosomal DNA. Examination through a microscope under fluorescent lighting detects the presence of the colored hybridized signal (and hence presence of the chromosome material) or absence of the hybridized signal (and hence absence of the chromosome material). Also called FISH.