Separating DNA and Polynucleotides by Electrophoresis in Gels and Polymer Solutions


The Golden Gate Polymer Forum

Monthly Dinner Lecture
Monday, Dec. 13
Michael's at Shoreline, Mountain View

"Separating DNA and Polynucleotides by Electrophoresis in Gels and Polymer Solutions"

Karl. O. Voss
Applied Biosystems


In 1977, Fred Sanger invented dideoxy DNA sequencing, a technique to determine the base order in a strand of DNA. This invention has proven to be one of the most important technology breakthroughs in modern biology. At that time, Sanger's method could determine the base order of a few hundred nucleotides per DNA sample and analyze several samples per day. Over the past 25 years, technological improvements have achieved enormous increases in efficiency in the same basic technique. A modern DNA sequencing instrument can determine the base order of 1000 nucleotides per sample, and analyze over 2 million nucleotides per day, in a fully automated fashion.

Modern DNA sequencing is truly a triumph of analytical chemistry. It combines the high-resolution separation technique, gel electrophoresis and sophisticated fluorescence detection systems, and complex biochemical sample chemistry. Modern DNA sequencing is also a triumph of polymer science. At the analytical heart of the DNA sequencing technique is gel electrophoresis, a process by which long polyelectrolyte molecules (DNA) are separated by size via passage through a neutral hydrogel matrix (a polyacrylamide gel). High throughput automated instrumentation employs polymer solutions in place of the polyacrylamide gel. Electrophoresis in a polymer
solution can resolve a 1000 nucleotide DNA fragment from a 1001 nucleotide DNA fragment. Stated differently, electrophoresis can separate and detect a 330,000 Da polymer molecule from a 330,330 Da polymer molecule, a truly remarkable achievement.

The presentation will cover the basic aspects of DNA sequencing, such as instrumentation and methodology, as well as some of the applications of the technology, such as forensic analysis. The nature of the biased-reptation mechanism that provides gel electrophoresis with its extraordinary power to resolve polyelectrolytes will be discussed. Finally, the physics that allows polymer solutions to be used in place of hydrogels will be presented.

Dr. Voss is a staff scientist and the manager of the capillary electrophoresis group in the genetic analysis product development organization at Applied Biosystems.



DATE: Monday, Dec. 13

Location: Michael's at Shoreline
(see directions below)

Timing: 6 PM social hour
7 PM dinner
8 PM lecture

Cost: $30 with advance registration
half price students, retired, unemployed
free for just the lecture at 8PM
(but please let us know for headcount)
$35 after registration deadline

PLEASE NOTE: we accept cash or checks, but are unable to
accept payment by credit card at this time.

Deadline for registration:
5 PM Friday Dec. 10

Please register on the web site

Or, contact:
Lothar Kleiner

You should receive confirmation of your registration; if not,
please contact us again.


Dinner choices (pick one when registering):
Chicken Marsala
Vegetatable Brochette

Note that we must request that you be liable for your
registration fee if you register and do not attend;
cancellation is allowed up to the registration deadline.


Restaurant's web page directions

From 101 in Mountain View, take the Shoreline Boulevard
Exit, turning toward the bay. Drive past the Shoreline
Amphitheater on the left hand side and go straight ahead, entering
into Shoreline Park. After a mile or so inside the park,
a sign for Michael's will direct you to turn left into
the parking lot for Michael's Restaurant.
Address: 2960 N Shoreline Blvd.
Restaurant phone: 650-962-1014
(do not call restaurant for reservations)


Upcoming GGPF Dinner Lectures & Other Events:

Jan. 14-16, 2005
A very special local offering of a three-day tutorial:
"Polymeric Science and Engineering: A Comprehensive Basic Course"
Prof. T. C. Ward and Prof. G. L. Wilkes
Virginia Polytechnic Institute

These renowned instructors will provide a rare opportunity for this class in the
Bay Area. Pricing will be very affordable, and there are of course no travel charges to
be incurred. Many GGPF members may wish to apprise colleagues about this

Registration now open, see web page
$495 on or before Dec.3
$595 after Dec. 3
Registration closes on Dec. 17.
NOTE: Registration is not complete until payment is received.

Feb. 23, 2005 Monthly Dinner Lecture
"Polymer Engineering for Energy Conversion Technologies"
Prof. Gary Wnek
Case Western Reserve University


OTHER EVENTS of possible interest to the
GGPF audience:


Nov. 30, Foster City
ThermoElectron free tutorial on
Fourier Transform Near-IR Spectroscopy


Dec. 4, Santa Clara
one-day short course sponsored by ASME on computational fluid dynamics
"CFD Fundamentals and Applications"

Dec. 8, Sunnyvale
IEEE/CPMT dinenr lecture
"Replacing Heat Sinks with Thermally Conductive Substrates -
Technology and Trade-Offs"


Jan. 12, location tba
ASM dinner meeting
"Failure Mechanisms in Biomaterials"
Craig Bonsignore

Jan. 18, location tba
AIChE dinner lecture
"Process Analytics and Data Acquisition in Life Sciences,"
Oliver Yu, Genentech

Jan. 20, South San Francisco
SCV ACS /CAL ACS /AiChE Joint Program dinner lecture
Mosher Award Address by Paul S. Anderson,
Senior V.P. of Dupont Pharmaceuticals, and past president of
the American Chemical Society
"Drug Discovery: Where have we been and where are we going?"

Jan. 20, Mountain View
all-day event
NorCal SAMPE Composites Workshop and Sponsors Exhibition

Jan. 29 - May 14, SJSU
MatE 234 - "Microelectronic Packaging"
semester-long Saturday class offered by Materials Science.
May be taken through SJSU Open University.
For more information, contact the instructor,
Dr. Guna Selvadury


Join the GGPF announcements list through the web page
or by replying to this announcement with your name and
preferred email address.

Send any suggestions for events that should be
mentioned in these announcements to

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