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Unformatted text preview: the temperature of the mixture caused the molecules to break free from the probes and redissolve in the liquid. Next, I reapplied the magnet to attract the balls again to the side of the test tube, but this time without any molecules attached. The liquid, which now contained the desired DNA strands (in the example, encoding paths that went through Boston), could then be poured into a new tube for further screening. The process was repeated for the remaining intermediary cities (Chicago, in this case). This iterative procedure, which took me an entire day to complete in the lab, was the most tedious part of the experiment. At the conclusion of the afﬁnity separations, step 2c of the algorithm was over, and I knew that the DNA mole- cules left in the tube should be precisely those encoding Hamiltonian paths. Hence, if the tube contained any DNA at all, I could conclude that a Hamiltonian path existed in the graph. No DNA would indicate that no such path existed. Fortunately, to make this determination I could use an additional PCR...
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- Fall '08