05
Aug
09

DNA-Like Technique?

NO, NO, NO; it’s nothing at all like DNA “fingerprinting”–DNA fingerprinting uses restriction enzymes to “chop up” the DNA into smaller fragments which are then separated by size via SDS-PAGE in a process known as a Southern Blot (named after Edwin Southern*); the different sizes of these fragments are what produce the unique “fingerprint” of a person’s DNA. This is more like chromatography. In fact, I suspect it IS a type of chromatography, or, possibly, ICP or something similar.

A neat little joke was done starting out with about this: many other molecular biology techniques have been since named after directions as a play on “Southern,” so now we have (in order of appearance) Southern blot, Northern blot, Western blot, Southwestern blot, Eastern blot, and Far-eastern blot (this one was developed in Japan).

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3 Responses to “DNA-Like Technique?”


  1. 1 Pliny-the-in-Between
    August 5, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    The press is a huge part of the problem with dumbing down science. The technique of matching the chemical composition of fossils to surrounding rock is like DNA finger-printing in the sense that they both involve the field of chemistry. At that level dying clothes is sort of like DNA finger printing…

  2. 2 Martina-Schubert
    September 1, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    Hey, ok, I get it, I guess – but does this really work?

  3. 3 jaredcormier
    September 1, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    As described on MSNBC; maybe, it would need some severe manipulation. I’m assuming they would be using ICP-AES to determine the quantity of each metal in the soil and use that as a background with leaching rates to determine where the fossil is from.


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