Thursday, March 13, 2014

Gel Electrophoresis Lab

In this lab, we had 5 DNA samples and 3 restriction enzymes. We then had 5 different tubes that contained mixtures of DNA and restriction enzymes. We then placed these samples into the wells on the gel. The samples specifically contained: 
1. Marker (Only contained DNA)
2. DNA + PstI
3. DNA + PstI/HpaI
4. DNA + PstI/SspI
5. DNA + PstI/HpaI/SspI
After the samples were in the wells, we placed the gel into the gel electrophoresis machine. Once in the machine, an electric current is run through the gel to move the DNA down the gel. The lighter pieces moved to the end and the heavier pieces stay towards the wells. After the pieced had moved, we measured the distance the fragments had moved and compared them to the marker.
Gel electrophoresis works by the cuts in the DNA going through this gel. Each length stops at a certain point. The longer strands stay close to the top, or negative end, while the shorter strands go towards the bottom, the positive end. This is because the strands have to snake themselves between all these holes in the gel. The longer ones get caught and can't move as far down on the gel as the shorter ones can.  

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