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Gel electrophoresis anode positive?

Discussion in 'MCAT Study Question Q&A' started by frodo25, Aug 3, 2015.

  1. frodo25

    2+ Year Member

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    Can Gel electrophoresis be thought of as similar to an electrolytic cell?
     
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  3. basophilic

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    ANions are attracted to ANode
    CATions are attracted to CAThode
    And yeah since you're adding energy to create electric field/voltage difference, it can be seen as electrolytic cell.
    Based on all 3, yeah anode is positive
     
  4. BerkReviewTeach

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    In a way, yes. Both have an external voltage source forcing current to flow in a way it would not naturally flow. The difference is that an electrolytic cell is a chemical reaction, so you are pushing that reaction uphill (to reform a reactive species), while in electrophoresis you are forcing charge onto conducting plates that naturally wish to be neutral. That charge accumulation (on the capacitor plates that surround the gel) creates the electric field through which species such as DNA, RNA, and amino acids migrate.
     

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