Friday, July 15, 2011

DNA Extractions!

So the first step in our project was to extract the DNA from tanager blood samples that Holly collected in Peru. She and other researchers put the blood on special paper to which DNA adheres, and our first job was to cut out small squares from the paper for extractions. (please note that the extraction process is unique to the specific tissue sample - in this case it was a "Qiagen" kit for animal tissue)

... sometimes scientists in the field get creative ;)

Then we put them in individually labeled and sterilized 1.5 ml tubes ("1.5 mils" if you want to use the lab jargon).

The samples undergo a process to extract the DNA from the actual paper which includes a series of buffers, the addition of proteinease K, and many types of "mixers" (thermomixers/centrifuges/vortexes). Towards the end, we centrifuged the samples (+ buffers) through multiple filters to get rid of debris and unwanted particles. Contrary to what some people think, I really enjoyed the process, which took about three hours for 24 samples <-- fun stuff!

We store them in these cute, little organized boxes in the freezer!


Oh, and here are our super-cool tough spots for labeling!!!

Plus (!) here are some cool shots around the lab - enjoy!

The never-ending hallway...

- Kit -

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