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Gel Electrophoresis: Visualize and separate nucleic acids Virtual Lab

Solve a crime by using DNA fingerprinting to identify a thief. Use nucleic acid gel electrophoresis to separate and visualize DNA molecules and watch an animation to understand what happens inside the gel tank.

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Gel Electrophoresis: Visualize and separate nucleic acids

About this Simulation

Your peanut butter keeps getting stolen and it is time to catch the thief. In this simulation, you will learn how you can use DNA fingerprinting to identify individuals. You will use gel electrophoresis to separate and visualize DNA fragments.

Loading the gel

Join Dr. One in the molecular biology lab. The DNA samples from the crime scene and two suspects have already been collected, extracted, and amplified for you. You will start by learning about sample preparation and loading the samples into an agarose gel with a pipette.

Look inside the gel

Once you have loaded all the samples into the gel, you can start the gel electrophoresis process. While this runs, you will dive into the gel tank and discover how DNA fragments are separated by size with this technique through an immersive animation.

Analyzing the gel

Now that you understand how gel electrophoresis works, you will return to the molecular biology lab. The DNA fragments have now been separated and visualized so you can compare the band patterns of the two suspect samples with that of the crime scene sample. Will you be able to catch the thief?

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to:

  • Explain the visualization and separation of nucleic acid molecules through gel electrophoresis

  • Summarize how nucleic acid molecules migrate through an agarose gel

  • Explain the principles behind size separation and direction of migration

  • Analyze and interpret a nucleic acid gel by using a DNA ladder and controls

Techniques in Lab

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to:

  • Agarose gel electrophoresis

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