Students at Brentwood High are getting a hands-on introduction to biotechnology during a gel electrophoresis lab.

Gel electrophoresis is a method of separating DNA, RNA or proteins based on the molecule size. To begin, students inject DNA into a gel. Overnight, the DNA molecules are pulled through the gel using electricity. The farther the DNA molecules are away from the starting point, the smaller the molecule size.

Gel electrophoresis can be used in a variety of fields, which include paternity testing, crime scene investigation and gene testing.

“This experiment allowed the students to gain a hands-on experience with biotechnology,” said Brentwood High biology teacher Matthew Bshero. “It also helps them understand how it may be used outside of a school setting.”