The Hershey & Chase Blendor Experiment (Part 2)

    During the process of infection of bacteria by phage, a quick spin in a Waring blendor shears phage away from the outside of the bacteria. Analysis of the bacterial pellet and supernatant fractions afterward demonstrates that phosphorus-labelled DNA inside the phage shows up in bacteria (left), whereas the sulfur-labelled protein in the external coat remains in the supernatant (right). Further, bacteria with labelled DNA go on to produce progeny phage that are also labelled. This biological experiment confirms Avery's conclusion that DNA is the transforming substance, and shows that transformation is heritable.

HOMEWORK: The Hershey & Chase blendor experiment is often described as "quick & dirty": Why? Explain, in terms of  the key figure in Hershey & Chase (1952).

All text material ©2015 by Steven M. Carr