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ERIC Number: EJ1004656
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jan
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 9
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Modeling the Dynamics of Gel Electrophorresis in the High School Classroom
Saucedo, Skyler R.
Physics Teacher, v51 n1 p28-31 Jan 2013
Gel electrophoresis, used by geneticists and forensic experts alike, is an immensely popular technique that utilizes an electric field to separate molecules and proteins by size and charge. At the microscopic level, a dye or complex protein like DNA is passed through agarose, a gelatinous three-dimensional matrix of pores and nano-sized tunnels. When forced through a maze of holes, the molecule unravels, forming a long chain, slithering through the field of pores in a process colloquially coined "reputation." As a result, the smaller molecules travel farther through the gel when compared to molecules of larger molecular weight. This highly effective "molecular sieve" provides consistent data and allows scientists to compare similar sequences of DNA base pairs in a routine fashion. When performed at the high school level, gel electrophoresis provides students the opportunity to learn about a contemporary lab technique of great scientific relevance. Doing real science certainly excites students and motivates them to learn more. (Contains 1 table and 6 figures.)
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A