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Isolation of Bacterial DNA — A Biological Polymer


Publication 13251

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DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is a polymer found in every living plant and animal cell on earth. All the genes in an organism are made of DNA, which is composed of only four monomer units, the deoxyribonucleotide bases. Students will isolate the DNA from a simple living organism, E. coli. Treatment of these bacteria with an alkaline solution of detergent liberates the DNA from the cells. The DNA in the bacteria has the same chemical properties as the DNA in cells from any organism. Much of current research is concerned with exploring DNA, the “blueprint of life,” and all those experiments begin with the scientist’s isolation of DNA from cells.