Hello! This was another week in the lab while also collecting more testing data from my participants. I began this week by revisiting the interview I had with Dr. Susan Persky. I took note of all of the points she made during the interview, while sifting through the information we talked about. This will be a part of my final presentation and paper I will be writing about the ethics of genetic research and its social implications.
Next, I began sending out the testing information to participants and gathering their self reported answers. I wanted to do the testing in person, but with the very limited responses and availability all around, I turned everything digital. This has saved me a lot of time and I’m almost done collecting testing data. Overall, I’m putting a lot of trust in my participants that they follow the guidelines I’ve set for the exam in order to ensure that everyone’s data is reliable and truthful! I’m so thankful for the students who’ve responded and provided data for me.
During the middle of the week while collecting testing data, I had another lab day where we ran through the PCR once again. For the third time… So let me speed through the steps really quickly and get to the results. I added the restriction enzyme and incubated the DNA in our new thermal cycler machine. However, it did melt my PCR tubes and I freaked out for a second, but thankfully everything was fine.
After, I prepped a 2.5 percent gel and inserted the DNA. Here’s a picture for reference. That pink bar you see in the gel is the DNA.
After we ran the gel, we put it under the UV light and saw our results. The PCR worked! As you can see, below the dark purple pigment are some glowing bands. This means the experiment successfully highlighted the portion of DNA I’m looking at. However, the bands are not as crisp and clear as I wanted them, so it’s hard to determine how many are present. So next time, I just have to simply run the gel for a shorter amount of time (around 10 minutes). This happens frequently in experiments when you run a gel for too long, the bands/DNA separate and mix together and you can’t interpret the results very clearly. Overall, this was such great news to hear. Next time in the lab, I’ll begin sequencing my participants’ DNA and find out what COMT polymorphism they have. Thanks for reading!