DNA Restrictions Enzymes and Electrophoresis Gel Lab Report

DNA Restrictions Enzymes and Electrophoresis Gel Lab Report

Guide for writing lab interpretations

BioSci 150

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Interpretations should be written like a mini scientific paper. Be concise but clear (2 pages single spaced max), and please include the following:


  1. I) Introduction:
  2. What is DNA (what is it made up of)?
  3. What is gel electrophoresis? Explain how it works generally and specifically in regard to DNA.
  4. Why would you run DNA on a gel?
  5. What are restriction endonucleases and how do they work?
  6. State your hypothesis and prediction for this experiment



  1. II) Methods:
  2. Briefly explain the procedure for both parts of the experiment
    1. How did we make the gel?
    2. Explain the digestion process of DNA


III) Results:

  1. Report the results from the experiment (why are there two bands in the digested sample?)
    1. Results can be reported in either figure or paragraph form (number of bands, band fragment size and total plasmid size are important things to include). If you include a figure you also need to include a properly formatted figure caption


  1. IV) Discussion:
  2. What is the meaning of the results you reported above?
  3. Did you observe what you expected? Why/why not?
  4. What might you change about your experiment?


  1. V) Conclusion:
  2. What was the overall purpose of the lab?
  3. What did you learn?


In general, you are answering “Why?” to the lab. Interpret your methods and results, and discuss it on a grander scale. The interpretation should not be more than two pages long; four short paragraphs are sufficient. Use scientific language (i.e. terminology we have discussed) in your writing.

*I expect to see your own work. Refer to the lab syllabus to remind yourself of our academic integrity policy.

Notes on scientific hypothesis formation:

  • A complete scientific hypothesis is composed of two parts: a hypothesized idea statement regarding a relationship between variables, and a specific prediction statement that refers to your experimental design.
  • Your idea statement is developed based on an initial observation, something you read about in published literature, a question you have, etc. In our lab context, it is usually based on some biological concept outlined in the lab manual.
  • The prediction statement references the procedure you will take to test the idea, OR the anticipated result of your experiment. It refers more specifically to how you expect the variables to relate to each other.
    • So think of it as “If I do (X), then (Y) will happen