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Name: Donne
Status: Student
Grade:  9-12
Country: United States
Date: July 2008

What is a DNA pellet? How can one define this term logically and scientifically?

This refers to the mass of DNA at the bottom of the centrifuge tube after you do a DNA extraction. DNA is insoluble in ethanol, so when you add ethanol to a mixture containing DNA, the DNA will precipitate in the ethanol. Centrifuging will leave a 'pellet' of DNA.

Hope this helps,

I am assuming you are extracting DNA and it wants you to pellet the DNA. One molecule of DNA is too small to see with the even the most powerful microscope. In order to see it you need millions of strands wrapped together. If you then spin this in a centrifuge it will form a visible mass in the bottom of the tube. It will appear as a white dot in the bottom of the tube, also known as a pellet.


A DNA pellet is a clump of DNA that has been precipitated from an aquaeous solution by the addition of alcohol.

Ron Baker, Ph.D.

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