DNA extraction

The ability to extract DNA from cells is a cornerstone of molecular biology. Without the ability to isolate pure DNA, there is no ability to sequence, clone or manipulate that DNA. 

Back when I started at the bench, isolating DNA was a chore. I worked in a neuroscience lab and part of my job was genotyping the mouse colony. In order to know whether a mouse pup had received one or two copies of the gene that we were studying from its parents, I had to analyze it's DNA. First, I had to get it's DNA. 

Up until about that time, molecular biology was done the old fashioned way. This meant a multi-step process that involved chemicals like phenol chloroform, and long waiting periods. A DNA isolation would not just be on your to-do list for the afternoon - it was the to-...