AskDefine | Define polony

Dictionary Definition

polony n : another name for Bologna sausage

User Contributed Dictionary



Possibly a corruption of Bologna.


  1. A kind of sausage made of meat that has been only partly cooked.


Extensive Definition

Polony is a contraction of "polymerase colony," a small colony of DNA.
Polonies are discrete clonal amplifications of a single DNA molecule, grown in a gel matrix. This approach greatly improves the signal-to-noise ratio. Polonies can be generated using several techniques that include solid-phase PCR in polyacrylamide gels. However, other earlier patented technologies, such as that from Manteia (acquired by Solexa), which generate DNA on a solid phase surface by bridge amplification - are generally referred to as "Clusters". The terminology and distinction between 'polony' and 'cluster' have become confused recently. Growth of clonal copies of DNA on bead surfaces remains to be generically named although some also seek to name this technique as a "polony" method.
In one conceptually simple way to create clusters, a solution containing DNA fragments is poured onto a microscope slide dilute enough so that individual molecules are separated. DNA polymerase is added, which copies each fragment repeatedly, creating millions of clusters, each of which contains only copies of the original fragment of DNA. These "clusters" are then used for various kinds of DNA research like DNA sequencing.
However, notwithstanding the erudition above, 'polony' also appears as a British slang term in Graham Greene's book 'Brighton Rock', meaning a plump person, likened to a fat sausage or 'Bologna'. It is also a type of finely processed pork that comes in a sausage shaped wrapping (pork bolony perhaps?).


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