By varying the time of hydrolysis for the Feulgen reaction, done under conditions that protect the backbone of the DNA, it is possible to distinguish three species of DNA that are characterised by their lability to acid hydrolysis. The most labile DNA was found, in greatest proportions, in malignant cells; this may be helpful in diagnostic cytology. The fact that the cytologically normal cells, in grade V smears, also show this labile DNA may well facilitate cytological screening even in those smears that contain very few neoplastic cells.
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