Mukund's Brief Overview on Synthetic Biology Basics

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Q- What will you see if you add mud to water?

A- Sedimentation and floating particles of mud; Darkish-colored water

Q-What will you see if DNA if added to water?

A-Clear water.

How does the phenomenon of 'seeing' the particles of mud and not the DNA take place? This is because the particles of mud scatter light that results in the eye being able to view them. DNA, however,allows light to pass right through it, due to which it becomes invisible to the eye.

The discussion with Mukund

There are three main ways by which light passes through an object:

a) Scattering

Scattering of light (sketch)

b) Absorption

c) Flouresence

Flourescence of light (sketch)
  • There is one major problem with DNA, that is, its too small to see - even with high levels of of magnification.Some of the ways of attempting to see them are through:

a) Addition of dyes b) Increasing the quantity of the sample observed

Some basics of DNA Cloning:

Plasmid:

A DNA molecule that is separate from the chromosomal DNA and is capable of replicating independently.

Palindrome:

A sequence that reads the same forward and backward.

ATGCAT TACGTA

It is due to this characteristic of the DNA sequences that they can bind to other sequences.


Dna cloning.gif