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Molecular Imagining: RNA-FISH Testing

What are "Molecular Imaging" tests?

These are lab-developed tests (LDT) in which we use a technology known as "FISH" (an acronym for Fluorescence in situ Hybridization) to detect the presence of a pathogen's genetic signature (RNA) in lab specimens. In FISH testing, fluorescent probes bind to complementary target sequences of RNA.  These probes emit light when struck by laser light producing signals that viewed using a confocal laser microscope. This process can be applied to finding characteristic DNA or RNA sequences in lab specimens.

What is confocal scanning laser microscopy?

Confocal scanning laser microscopy is a technique that uses a laser to scan multiple fine layers in the sample. These layers can then be collapsed or merged to make a 3D image of the sample. It helps to enable more finely focused imaging of samples than possible using a conventional microscope.  By cutting out background light and imaging one very thin section at a time, the confocal technique enables production of a higher resolution image.

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