svedberg units

William L'Amoreaux, Ph.D. lamoreaux at
Wed Feb 4 11:26:40 EST 1998

Todd wrote:
> I am looking for someone who knows what units svedbergs are measured in,
> eg 70s and 80s ribosomes.  I am not sure of this....

A svedberg unit is a sedimentation coefficient of 1 x 10(-13) sec; a
sed. coef. is a rate per unit of centrifugal field and is determined by
the weight, shape and amount of hydration a particular molecule has for
a given solvent and temperature.

The short answer is that it measures the relative rate of sedimentation
compared to other macromolecules.

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