The Franklin Institute's Resources for Science Learning x
Home (Main Navigation - Resources for Science Learning @ The Franklin Institute)For Learners (Main Navigation - Resources for Science Learning @ The Franklin Institute)For Educators (Main Navigation - Resources for Science Learning @ The Franklin Institute)Leadership (Main Navigation - Resources for Science Learning @ The Franklin Institute)Partnership (Main Navigation - Resources for Science Learning @ The Franklin Institute)About Us (Main Navigation - Resources for Science Learning @ The Franklin Institute)

BioPoint

Restriction Enzyme Cleavage of DNA

From a "BioPoint" student's point-of-view...

In January, we extracted DNA from bacterial cells and separated the DNA using gel electrophoresis. We used EcoRI and HindIII as restriction enzymes that allowed us to observe the DNA like many genetic engineers do. The third sample was an uncut control.

Image of student working in lab
Before we began, we worked on a practice dish that we had already messed up.

Image of student working in lab
We practiced using the pipettes to load the DNA sample into the gel.

Image of lab equipment
This is the equipment we used. Notice in the back are the white sticks that had the three DNA types we inserted into the wells.

Image of a practice dish
This practice dish shows why we have to be careful not to mix, put too much in, or make air bubbles.

Image of student working in lab
Here we began to place the DNA into the wells of the casting trays. (The tray had already been filled to a depth of 6 mm with agarose solution. The solidified surface had to be smooth and free of debris or even air bubbles.)

Image of student working in lab
Here, some other students began to place the DNA into the wells of their casting trays.

Image of student working in lab
Here, we continued to fill the wells, being careful not to add air bubbles.

Image of student working in lab
Okay, the samples are just about ready.

Image of lab equipment
Now, we can start the electrophoresis process.

Image of lab equipment
The chamber is connected to electrical leads and power supply.

Image of lab equipment
The electrical field pulls the fragments from their origin, through the gel matrix, toward the positive electrode. The resulting pattern of fragments produce the "DNA fingerprint."

Image of Cleaved DNA
In this finished gel stained tray, you can see the DNA fragments represented by the purple lines. That's the "DNA fingerprint."


Note: The Cell Journals are taking longer than we thought.
They should be ready soon.

BioPoint Scrapbook

Archive of "BioPoint" Issues


GO Back to inQuiry Almanack