The yield gel technique is a semi-quantitative/qualitative assay that allows for the estimation of the concentration and quality of DNA in a specimen. The method consists of the electrophoresis of DNA in an agarose gel matrix incorporating a fluorescent intercalating dye such as ethidium bromide (EtBr). The concentration of a sample can be determined by comparing the intensity of the fluorescence of the sample to that of the calibration standards.
One of the benefits of yield gels is the ability to assess the quality of the DNA sample. Larger (undegraded) DNA fragments migrate at a slower rate than those of lower molecular weight. Degraded DNA will consist of lower molecular weight fragments.
Ethidium bromide (EtBr) is a known carcinogen.
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