There are many techniques which have used in laboratories for the purpose of scientific research. One such particular technique is known as electrophoresis. In this method molecules of the DNA are charged so that they can be separated according to size.
Understanding the process of electrophoresis in detail
Gel electrophoresis is the name of the same technique only, and in this procedure, the charged molecule is made to pass through a gel. The DNA molecules become charged due to the passage of electric current through the gel. That implies that if one end of the gel has a positive charge, then the opposite ends will be negatively charged. Once the two ends of the gel are bearing opposite charges, then the molecules present inside the gel which is also charged then moves towards the oppositely charged end of the gel.
The migration of molecules caused by the application of electricity will result in the separation of the constituent molecules of the DNA. The presence of a permeable matrix in the gel makes it similar to a sieve. The particles small enough to travel through the openings in the sieve as electric current permeates through the gel.
It is understandable that the molecules which are comparatively smaller in size will rapidly migrate through the sieve-like structure of the gel and will move towards the end. However the fragments of the DNA which are bigger won’t be able to move through the porous matrix very easily. Hence, the speed of those fragments will be slow and the distance traveled by those fragments will also be less. This process will give rise to big and small pieces which are actively separated and present at specific distances.
The utility of the application of the gel electrophoresis technique for analyzing DNA
There are many reasons for breaking down DNA because the DNA molecules can provide scientists and researchers with more information about the human evolution. The task done by gel electrophoresis application is delineated through the following points:
- The process of electrophoresis help scientists to differentiate between different sizes of DNA fragments
- Human DNA is known to be negative in charge thus when the electric current runs through the gel the introduced DNA is going to move towards the electrode which is positive in charge.
- The strands of DNA which are shorter in size can move faster through the gel medium while the relatively longer strands arrive later. It enables the arrangement of different sizes of DNA fragments in sequential order.
- The usage of labels or dyes on DNA will further facilitate the process of identification after separation. That happens because the colored DNA when passed through the charged gel, will break down into fragments of different sizes and will appear in a series inside the gel.
This process help scientist to identify the variable fragments of standard human DNA and samples can be used in the same medium for the sake of conducting comparative studies.
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