After we PCR-ed our samples and ran them on agarose gels, we sequenced the positive samples (ones that contain malaria DNA and glowed over a UV light) in our 3730! Luckily, it didn't take too long because we only had one plate of 96 samples, and one plate takes about 2 hours... so imagine having 4-5 plates as some do!
Here's a capillary array of our sequences from the 3730 - isn't it beautiful?
See how the color bands (horizontally) are in basically the same patterns?
This means that the samples we tested have very similar sequences,
yet are still quite different.
Then we uploaded our data onto a computer program called Sequencher. It's so high-tech! We can edit each segment, clarify ambiguous bases, and trim off unwanted ends.
After cleaning up each segment, we copied each sequence individually and inserted it into this online GenBank database (BLAST) that contains pretty much every published genome sequence. It searches its database and compares your segment to known species.