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ERIC Number: EJ1082402
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Nov
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
A DNA Melting Exercise for a Large Laboratory Class
Levine, Lauren A.; Junker, Matthew; Stark, Myranda; Greenleaf, Dustin
Journal of Chemical Education, v92 n11 p1928-1931 Nov 2015
A simple and economical experimental setup is described that enables multiple individuals or groups within a laboratory class to measure the thermal melting of double stranded DNA simultaneously. The setup utilizes a basic spectrophotometer capable of measuring absorbance at 260 nm, UV plastic cuvettes, and a stirring hot plate. Students measure melting curves of short matched and mismatched DNA duplexes, and use quantitative analysis and first derivative curves to determine each duplex's transition melting temperature, T[subscript m]. Student data are highly reproducible among groups and from year to year, and give distinct transition melting temperatures for the different duplexes. The protocol could easily be adapted to investigate the effects of other parameters on DNA melting and stability, such as changes in base composition, chain length, and buffer ionic strength.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A