Beating DNA into submission

How do you create a simple linear stretch of DNA that goes on and on, like some kind of endlessly meandering oil pipeline?

Well, first of all, you beat the living hell out of it so it breaks up into fragments. Next, get rid of any nonlinear fragments because, face it, they can’t be sequenced anyway. This is most easily done by throwing out the phenol phase used for DNA extraction which may contain any troublesome DNA/protein/lipid etc interactions. Next, take what’s left (linear DNA fragments) and artificially splice them together in your mind using overlapping sequences. If this doesn’t always work, just extrapolate until it does. Voilà! We now have a nice, neat (if somewhat boring) endlessly linear, stretch of DNA.

Circle sequencing

Chromosome Walking2 Chromosome walking 1


About frankabernathy

I am a retired cell biologist and alumnus of Ohio State University. I became interested in chromosomes as far back as the 1960's when I wrote a term paper on the effects of radiomimetic drugs on chromosomes. I was fascinated at how they could break apart and reform new structures so easily. I became further involved in the early 1970's after taking a cytogenetics course at the University of Arkansas. I took that knowledge with me to Ohio State in 1980 where I eventually worked on my research and completed my Ph.D. dissertation, "Studies on Eukaryotic DNA Superstructure". My studies and later research suggested that the DNA within the eukaryotic chromosome is not the simple, linear molecular thread so widely suggested in all the classic textbooks published today. Instead, it may be the culmination of a geologically rapid set of endosymbiotic events where microorganisms plug into each other to create something greater than themselves. Feel free to contact me at
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