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Centrifuge question

 
 
Tommy90
 
Reply Wed 25 Jan, 2012 04:53 pm
My lecturer has told me that centrifuging something for a longer time at a low rpm is not the same as centrifuging something for less time at a high rpm. She says that it's "basic biochemistry" but for the life of me i can't think of the reason. Would be very grateful for an explanation.
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Type: Question • Score: 2 • Views: 969 • Replies: 5
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DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Wed 25 Jan, 2012 04:54 pm
@Tommy90,
Well, what does centrifuging at a low RPM get you that just standing it on the counter doesn't get you?
Tommy90
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jan, 2012 05:07 pm
@DrewDad,
I see your point. But i still don't see the "biochemistry" of it. What is the extra force overcoming?

I'm talking in terms of separating a lysate from cell debris btw.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jan, 2012 05:11 pm
@Tommy90,
Tommy90 wrote:

I see your point. But i still don't see the "biochemistry" of it. What is the extra force overcoming?

I'm talking in terms of separating a lysate from cell debris btw.


I'm not biochemist, but it seems to me that it's a question of maximum force applied.

A larger example: if you spun ME in a centrifuge going very, very slowly, you could do it for a long, long time with no noticeable effects at all. However, if you were to do so at a very high speed, for a very short amount of time, I would likely die (or be severely discomfited).

My guess is that there is a minimum amount of force necessary to actually separate the stuff in question, irregardless of the time period involved.

Cycloptichorn
Tommy90
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jan, 2012 05:18 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Thanks, yes that is the only thing i can think of. By the way she was talking i feel there should be a more "biochemistry-y" answer - i.e. something to do with protein shape or folding - but it's been about 2 years since i looked at a biochemistry book so...
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contrex
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Jan, 2012 01:13 am
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
irregardless


Does that word really exist?
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