On Becoming a Scientist
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Thinking Like a Scientist Handout 3A

DNA and Restriction Enzyme Scenario

Congratulations! Through careful research your team has discovered a procedure for joining two pieces of DNA from different organisms. First you use a restriction enzyme to cut apart a fragment of DNA. This enzyme recognizes a specific sequence of bases in the DNA molecule, and cuts the molecule within that sequence. The result is a set of double-stranded DNA fragments with single-stranded ends called sticky ends. The sticky ends will form base pairs with complementary single-stranded stretches on other molecules. By combining cut DNA from different sources that have complementary sticky ends, modified DNA fragments are formed.

Even though you can make new DNA, you're not sure that the molecule will function in the same way as normal DNA. Your modified DNA molecules are not useful unless they can be made to replicate and function within a cell.

DNA & Restriction Enzyme



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