Agarose gel electrophoresis of human ribosomal RNA (100 mg/L) vortexed with 60 g/L pyrite. A: Periodic sampling of the pyrite/rRNA suspension (samples were centrifuged to remove pyrite particles). Lane 1 contained ribosomal RNA (the two bright fluorescent bands are due to 28S and 18S ribosomal moieties). Lanes 2–5 contain pyrite with samples taken after twenty seconds (2), thirty minutes (3), one hour (4), and two hours (5). B: Same procedure as A, however, in the presence of 10 mM EDTA (lane numbers correspond to the same exposure times as in A). The negatively-charged RNA samples were loaded at the top of the agarose gels. When a voltage is applied across the gel, the RNA strands travel downward with smaller strands moving faster than larger strands. The light intensity is indicative of quantity. The experiments were conducted in the absence of O2.