Laura Frost (Georgia Southern University, USA), Julia Brumaghim (Clemson University, USA)
A common biochemistry laboratory activity includes conducting a DNA electrophoresis experiment. In the described exercise student teams explore oxidative damage to DNA through use of a photo-induced nicking agent visualized through electrophoresis. This experiment is an adaptation of an exercise published by Shafirovich (J. Chem. Educ., 2003, 80, 1297-1299) with a new twist. Polyphenolic antioxidant compounds commonly found in food can protect DNA from oxidative damage and the use of these is explored through the experiment. Upon completion, teams orally present the results of their experiment to the class followed by a mandatory question and answer period. The merits and assessment of this activity will be presented.