Day: January 26, 2012

Thursday, 26 January 2012

08:44 – I sent off the preface and lab safety chapter to the reviewers yesterday. That leaves the introduction, which is well in progress, and a lab session that I wasn’t sure I’d have time to do before deadline. That one is on simulated DNA gel electrophoresis, “simulated” because we’ll use dyes rather than actual DNA fragments for the separation.

Those dyes–crystal violet, methylene blue, and safranin O–are included in the kit as biostains, and they all migrate the same direction in a gel. We’ll use their different molecular masses as proxies for DNA fragments of differing BP size. We’d use real DNA, but that’d require expensive restriction enzymes, and wouldn’t produce very distinct banding in an agar gel (as opposed to agarose, which is much, much more expensive than agar, which isn’t cheap itself). I was thinking about having readers pre-run the gels to clear out some of the gunk that’s present in plain agar, but that’s really more trouble than it’s worth.

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