Crime Scenes: Agarose Gel Electrophoresis Essay

1467 Words 6 Pages
As seen on many crime shows and in real-life crime scenes, it is necessary to be able to identify DNA. Most of the time, this is done using a technique known as gel electrophoresis. Gel electrophoresis is a method used to separate the macromolecules that make up nucleic acids, such as DNA and RNA, along with proteins. Gel electrophoresis is significant because it has given scientists insight on what cells cause certain diseases and has led to advancements in DNA and fingerprint identification. My experiment will use gel electrophoresis to compare the separation of food dye in different agarose concentrations. The background for this experiment includes the following subjects: inventors, real-world uses, necessary components, separation, and information on food dyes.
Electrophoresis was first developed in the 1930s by Tiselius. Electrophoresis was further developed in the 1950s by Oliver Smithies, who began the practice of gel electrophoresis (Oliver Smithies: Born Inventor). Smithies created a new technique using starch and staining within gel to allow for better protein resolution. This technique was revolutionary because it was relatively inexpensive and easy to use. It provided great clarity of samples. Smithies has won many awards for his work, including the Nobel prize, and his technique is used daily by modern molecular scientists (Oliver Smithies- Biographical).
Gel electrophoresis is used in a variety of settings, particularly in molecular biology. Besides…