There are a number of different methods one can use to evaluate the DNA of a patient in search of disease-causing variations. Most of the approaches in common use today begin by first amplifying 1 or more segments of genomic DNA using the polymerase chain reaction. After amplification, the polymerase chain reaction products are then evaluated by some combination of enzyme digestion,electrophoresis, hybridization, silver staining, fluorescent labeling, scanning,and/or liquid chromatography. As suggested previously, each method has certain strengths and weaknesses and no single method is optimal in all circumstances.Automated DNA sequencing consists of polymerase chain reaction amplification,sequence-specific fluorescent labeling, and liquid chromatography, and is perhaps the most robust single method for mutation detection today. It can evaluate more than 600 contiguous nucleotides in the genome in both directions for about $12. However, the following example illustrates how the thoughtful use of a much less sophisticated method (single-strand conformational polymorphism analysis [SSCP]33) can be combined with automated DNA sequencing to dramatically decrease the cost and increase the speed of a genetic test in a specific clinical situation.