As seen on many crime shows and at 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 samples of natural and synthetic food dyes. The background for this experiment broaches the following subjects: inventors, real-world uses, necessary components, separation, and information on food dyes.
Electrophoresis was first developed in the 1930s by Tiselius. It has since expanded, and new techniques have been developed. The system of gel electrophoresis was developed in the 1950s by Oliver Smithies (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 being used to separate nucleic acids, such as DNA and RNA, gel electrophoresis is also employed to divide proteins (Gel Electrophoresis). According to research, electrophoresis is applied for the following reasons, "To get a DNA fingerprint for forensic pur...
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...hat are macromolecules?" November 14, 2013. December 12, 2013. http://chemwiki.ucdavis.edu/?title=Under_Construction/Schaller/Part_I:__Structure_in_Organic,_Biological_%26_Inorganic_Chemistry/MM.__Macromolecules_and_Supramolecular_Assemblies/MM1._What_are_macromolecules%3F
Slutz, Ph. D.,Sandra. "Forensic Science: Building Your Own Tool for Identifying DNA." September 5, 2013. December 2, 2013. http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/BioChem_p028.shtml#summary
Smithies, Oliver. " Oliver Smithies- Biographical." 2007. December 16, 2013. http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2007/smithies-bio.html
Unknown Author. "Monosaccharides." December 14, 2013. http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Monosaccharide.html
Williams, Ruth. "Oliver Smithies: Born Inventor." Circulation Research.108.6 (2011).
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