The final goal of this lab was to successfully measure the size of different samples of DNA by placing each sample into a well in agarose gel and running a current through a charged chamber. The DNA samples will move through the gel towards the positive charge. Ideally, the DNA will move and create and sequence of smallest to largest. This lab exposes us to DNA technology.
Gel electrophoresis is used to separate macromolecules like DNA or RNA by size or proteins by charge. To examine DNA and RNA, the fragments are placed in the agarose wells and an electrical charge is sent through, pushing the negatively charged molecules towards the positive side. The smaller the molecule, the less resistance it will face when hitting the pores of the gel, and the farther it will travel. Restriction enzymes are short nucleotide sequences used to cut DNA into segments, separating the fragment into pieces. When cut, two different ends will be produced, a sticky end or a blunt end. When a sticky end is created, it makes the double helix staggered, one end chills with an overhang above the other. These ends can connect to an identical sequence cut by the same restriction enzymes or a very similar end. Blunt ends are created when a restriction enzyme cuts the double helix evenly.