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published on april 3, 2020
Last updated on September 8, 2020
It is possible to artificially alter, modify, manipulate, and analyze DNA and RNA. Scientists use quite a few techniques:
Electrophoresis: molecules are separated by size and not charge. DNA is negatively charged (because of the phosphate groups), and therefore the longer strands will migrate towards the positive end of the chamber. Through this, the number, size, and relative abundance of DNA fragments can be determined.
DNA fragments can be amplified during polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
“Foreign” DNA is introduced to bacterial cells, so it will replicate it as its own. The byproduct will then be more abundant than it would naturally occur. For example, this has been used to make insulin.
Scientists have also used DNA sequencing to determine and analyze the order of nucleotides within a DNA molecule. This is used to study genetic disorders.
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