Crime Scenes: Agarose Gel Electrophoresis Essay

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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,…show more content…
This theory was formulated in 1970 and is one of the most recent on the topic of gel electrophoresis. The National Academy of Science states, "The behavior of macromolecules in gel filtration and gel electrophoresis may be predicted from Ogston's model for random mesh work of fibers. This model has been generalized to apply to non-spherical molecules and to several gel types. The theory defines conditions for optimal separation and optimal resolution in gel electrophoresis and gel filtration" (Unified Theory for Gel Electrophoresis and Gel Filtration). There are a few components that compose a gel electrophoresis chamber. First of all, there is a chamber used to contain the gel. The gel used in my experiment will be made from agarose. In order to create an electric field, there are positive and negative electrodes attached to a power source. My experiment will use alligator clips as the electrodes and nine-volt batteries as the power source. A buffer solution, in this case a 1% solution of baking soda, submerges the gel to allow the ions to carry through and maintain the stability of the Ph levels. A comb is used to generate wells inside of the gel to hold the samples. The comb will be made of styrofoam (Forensic Science: Building Your Own Tool For Identifying DNA).

Proteins, or nucleic acids, are isolated and separated within a gel. The gel is cast in a thin, welled slab. In this particular experiment, the gel will be
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