Northern Blot Scheme

Diagram displaying the process of conducting a northern blot test

The Northern Blot test is used to identify tissue specific protein expression by detecting mRNA in a sample.


  1. RNA samples are separated via. gel electrophoresis
  2. RNA samples that have now been separated by size are transferred to a nylon membrane
  3. Once RNA is transferred it is fixed to the nylon membrane using heat or UV light.
  4. Once RNA is fixed to the nylon sheet the hybridization probes are applied to the membrane.
  5. Prior to imaging, the membrane is washed to remove any additional probe.
  6. Hybrid signals are then detected by X-ray film.

This can help to determine if gene expression is tissue specific or to determine when certain genes are expressed.


Wikipedia. Northern Blot. Last modified: Sep 19 2012.

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