Frank Graham’s 293rd experiment refers to the establishment of the HEK 293 cell line, a widely-used cell line in molecular biology and biomedical research. HEK stands for “Human Embryonic Kidney,” and the number “293” refers to the fact that it was the 293rd experiment performed by Graham in the series of experiments that led to the successful isolation of these cells.
The HEK 293 cell line was derived from human embryonic kidney cells grown in culture. These cells were transformed by the addition of sheared fragments of adenovirus type 5 DNA, which resulted in their immortalization. The cells gained the ability to grow indefinitely in culture, a property that makes them valuable for various research applications, such as the production of recombinant proteins or viral vectors for gene therapy.
HEK 293 cells are easy to culture, maintain, and transfect with foreign DNA, making them a popular choice for molecular biology research. They have been used in a wide range of studies, including the investigation of gene function and regulation, cell signaling, protein-protein interactions, and drug development.