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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1976 Oct 4;447(2):230-7.

Dielectric increment of low molecular weight RNA in dioxane after application of static electric fields.


A soluble RNA with a molecular weight between 15 000 and 23 000 was extracted from calf thymus and chromatographically purified. The RNA was slightly soluble in doxane (approx. 2.5 mug/ml) and RNA-dioxane solutions were used to fill a cell (452.02 pF capacitance) to which static electric fields of variable strength were applied. The dielectric permittivity of the solutions was measured at a fixed time interval after the application of the electric field. The RNA solutions showed a dielectric increment proportional to the strength of the applied field and to the RNA concentration. The existence of a hystersis effect was proven and the effect of the electric field on the RNA molecule might be related to a dielectric saturation phenomenon parallel to long-term changes of the molecule.

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