The present invention relates to means for the detection and characterization of nucleic acid sequences, as well as variations in nucleic acid sequences. The present invention also relates to methods for forming a nucleic acid cleavage structure on a target sequence and cleaving the nucleic acid cleavage structure in a site-specific manner. The structure-specific nuclease activity of a variety of enzymes is used to cleave the target-dependent cleavage structure, thereby indicating the presence of specific nucleic acid sequences or specific variations thereof. The present invention further relates to methods and devices for the separation of nucleic acid molecules based on charge. The present invention also provides methods for the detection of non-target cleavage products via the formation of a complete and activated protein binding region. The invention further provides sensitive and specific methods for the detection of human cytomegalovirus nucleic acid in a sample.
This invention was made with government support under Grant No. DE-FG02-94ER81891 awarded by the Department of Energy and Grant No. 1R43AI39843-01 awarded by the National Institutes of Health. The Government has certain rights in the invention.