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Pictures Considered #10. The Origin of Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis

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In May 1984, readers of an article by Schwartz and Cantor in the prestigious journal Cell were to stumble upon pictures of DNA agarose gels that were among the lousiest of such ever published after the method was introduced in the early 70s. Why did the editors of Cell risk their reputation? Or did they, in fact?

No, they didn’t, because the readers were allowed the first glimpse at the DNA of full-length yeast chromosomes, nicely separated by length. With two simple but ingenious twists, Schwartz and Cantor had increased the power of agarose gel electrophoresis to resolve large DNA molecules by roughly 2 orders of magnitude.
 
 

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