Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Purity

Today, we had a lab that was a follow-up to Monday's lab. Since we extracted our DNA then, we did two things with that DNA today. First, we took a portion of it and diluted it with water, so we could analyze it with a UV spectrophotometer. The purpose of the analysis is to determine the purity, or the DNA-to-protein ratio of our extracted DNA. My results for my DNA from my blood were not so great. I may have messed up during the process of extraction. The next thing we did with the DNA was to place it through a PCR reaction. PCR is a process that quickly duplicates a target segment of DNA; in class, we had two target segments so we had two PCR reactions running. 

I had some leftover time in class, so I did extra work. People that were not around to have their blood drawn would instead scrape cells from their cheeks and extract the DNA from those cells instead. I decided to use my leftover time to try this process, too. I feel like I messed up more steps, and I ended up taking more time than I anticipated (I was one of the last two people to go back up to the lecture hall once the lab part finished); however, my results were astoundingly great. Apparently, I hit the target region of purity for my DNA with this alternative method, even though that was not my intention. My instructor praised me for such results, too! 

My final exam is quickly approaching (Friday!). I don't have a lot of time left, and I want to make sure I'm prepared for it. I also have a final presentation on the same day, and I have been spending the day researching for that. I want to talk about non-coding RNA, or more specifically, small interfering RNA. It's on a molecular level, instead of a macroscopic level, so it's hard to find a good source for my presentation. I'm still set on working on it, though! 
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