[BiO BB] Spooling DNA

Dale Beach dbeach at email.unc.edu
Tue Oct 25 22:56:45 EDT 2005

You can spool the DNA because of its length.  RNA and proteins are both 
easily precipitated but need a centrifuge to rapidly collect the 
precipitate.  As for the DNA precipitation from an onion, assuming that 
you are using an alcohol (isopropanol or ethanol are common) you should 
also be precipitating the RNA since the chemical properties of DNA and 
RNA are similar (they are both nucleotide chains!).  The RNA just 
doesn't spool like the DNA. And even though there are plenty of RNAses 
(along with proteases and DNAses), the RNA will still precipitate with 
the DNA though it might be a little fragmented!

The real question is how many folks reading this have actually done any 
wet-lab molecular biology? I come from a MolBio background, and wonder 
how many bioinformaticians have gotten their hands dirty in a MolBio 
lab?  More importantly how many would LIKE TO?  If there were a course 
available, say 1 week where you cloned and sequenced a gene then 
expressed a protein, would you take it? What else would you want to do? 
The goal would be to provide some practical experience with the 
molecules that so many folks are busy modeling.


Dale Beach, PhD
SPIRE Postdoctoral Fellow, UNC-CH
Duke University Medical Center
Jones CB3020
Durham, NC 27710

Laura Nielson wrote:

> Why is it not possible to spool out precipitated proteins in 
> comparison to spooling out precipitated DNA?  DNA is very, very long.  
> How long are proteins (polypeptides)?
> I've done the experiment where you precipitate DNA out of onion 
> cells.  Could you precipitate RNA out of onion cells?  How? or Why not? 
>Bioinformatics.Org general forum  -  BiO_Bulletin_Board at bioinformatics.org
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