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SNPs: Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms

SNPs (pronounced “snips”) are differences in DNA sequence of just one (or sometimes a small number of) nucleotides. Where these differences occur within a genic sequence, they are more often than not phenotypically neutral, but sometimes they can be associated with a change in the amino acid sequence of the gene product. They are very common, and are distributed throughout the genome.

SNP genotyping can be relatively simple, but SNP discovery generally requires extensive DNA sequencing. Although not as yet not widely used in MAB, in future SNPs are likely to dominate the field, due to the increase in automation possible*.

An example of a SNP between 2 small DNA sequences.