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Microsatellites and minisatellites (fwd)

Robert Preston rapr at MED.PITT.EDU
Thu Jul 7 08:38:23 EST 1994

> From: jbagshaw at wpi.WPI.EDU (Joseph C. Bagshaw)
> Subject: Microsatellites and minisatellites
> Date: 7 Jul 1994 12:44:02 GMT
> Trivia question:  Why are satellite DNAs so named?  Be careful,
> if you know the answer, you may reveal your age.
> -- 
They are called satellites because, during CsCl density gradient analysis
of genomic DNA on the Beckman model E ultracentrifuge, they appeared in
a zone of density different from the unique-sequence, major zone, and
had the appearance of little sputniks orbiting a DNA-earth.  It was the
late '50s, the dawn of the space-age.  Vanguard I had just blown up on
the launch pad on nation-wide television, and the word "satellite" was
on the tip of everyone's tongue, even biologists who didn't yet know
that they were "molecular".

rapr at med.pitt.edu
I am not old, I'm just an amateur historian, honest.

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