Electrophoresis Chamber

Description (Brief)
This object is part of a set-up for vertical gel electrophoresis. Gel electrophoresis is a technique that uses the electrical charges of molecules to separate them by their length. It is often used to analyze DNA fragments.
This set-up was cobbled together by scientists in the lab at Genentech, a biotechnology company, in the late 1970s and used through the 1980s. Its different components were purchased from several suppliers in the San Francisco Bay area and assembled together with binder clips. Although gel electrophoresis set-ups were available for purchase at the time, scientists found their own set-ups to be more reliable and easier to troubleshoot.
Because of its long length, this device was particularly useful for sequencing stretches of synthetic DNA created in the lab. A long length allows for greater resolution between molecular fragments, an important consideration in sequencing efforts.
Interview with Dan Yansura, Genentech scientist, 12/20/2012
Currently not on view
Object Name
electrophoresis chamber
Genentech, Inc.
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
metal (overall material)
glass (overall material)
overall: 18 1/2 in x 9 in x 4 1/4 in; 46.99 cm x 22.86 cm x 10.795 cm
place made
United States: California, South San Francisco
United States: California, South San Francisco
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Science & Mathematics
Biotechnology and Genetics
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Biological Sciences
Biotechnology and Genetics
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Genentech
Additional Media

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