- Description (Brief)
- These gunpowder cartridges are samples of the gunpowder cartridges used as part of the firing mechanism for a biolistic gene gun prototype produced by John Sanford, Ed Wolf, and Nelson Allen at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Biolistic gene guns are used to genetically transform plants by shooting microprojectiles (tiny bullets) covered in DNA into plant cells.
- The firing mechanism of the gene gun required several steps. A gunpowder charge or compressed air was used to accelerate a macroprojectile (see object 1991.0785.03.3), on whose tip rested DNA-coated microprojectiles. The macroprojectile would be halted upon its impact with a stopping plate (see object 1991.0785.03.4). A hole in the stopping plate was small enough to allow the microprojectiles to pass through, but large enough to halt the macroprojectile (see object 1991.0785.03.5). The microparticles would then continue to move forward, eventually penetrating the cells to be transformed. The process is diagrammed in the Biolistic Gene Transfer Process shadow box (see object 1992.0023.01).
- To learn more about biolistic gene guns, please see gene gun prototype II (object number 1991.0785.02) or gene gun prototype III (object number 1991.0785.01.1).
- Currently not on view
- Object Name
- gunpowder cartridges
- Physical Description
- metal (overall material)
- plastic (overall material)
- average spatial: 1.3 cm x 8.9 cm; 1/2 in x 3 1/2 in
- gunpowder cartridges: 5/8 in x 1/4 in; 1.5875 cm x.635 cm
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- See more items in
- Medicine and Science: Biological Sciences
- Science & Mathematics
- Biotechnology and Genetics
- Biolistic Gene Guns
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History
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