Week 2: DNA Isolation and p53

Mar 18, 2021

Greetings everyone,

Welcome back, and I am excited to share what I’ve done over this past week.

I was thrilled to begin lab work this week during my internship at Protein One LLC. Ironically, as a student conducting research in cancer biology, I learned from my on-site mentor that one of the chemicals I worked with in the lab is a toxic mutagen that can cause cancer if inhaled or ingested in large quantities; however, more about this later. This week I conducted two lab procedures:

  1. Plasmid DNA Isolated (Miniprep)
  2. Agarose Gel Preparation & Gel Electrophoresis

The plasmid DNA I was able to isolate this week is called, get ready for this, pET30-6H-Flu-A-NC. What a name?! Essentially, pET30 refers to a biological vector, 6H represents the histidine protein tag, and Flu-A-NC refers to the DNA source. It was an exhilarating procedure full of pipetting and centrifuging that enabled me to isolate pET30-6H-Flu-A-NC from E. Coli bacteria. I will definitely be conducting more Minipreps on my own in the lab in the coming weeks. 

Once I isolated the plasmid DNA, I used a procedure called Gel Electrophoresis to measure the quantity and size of the DNA. In order to conduct Gel Electrophoresis, I had to create agarose gel. While making agarose gel is not hard in itself, I added a chemical called Ethidium Bromide (EtBr) which is a fluorescent dye that allows me to view DNA under UV light (this is the chemical I was referring to at the beginning of the blog). After conducting Gel Electrophoresis, a DNA ladder is created. I will  talk more about the results next week after I’ve broken up the DNA into smaller fragments and conducted thorough analysis. For now, the resulting DNA ladder is displayed below:

Alongside lab work and my internship, I’ve begun conducting independent research on the tumor suppressor gene, p53. For now, all you need to know is that p53 is a gene that kills off or repairs the DNA of cells facing significant DNA damage. It is a key figure in preventing the formation of cancerous cells. I am excited to discuss p53’s intricacies and its relation to my lab work as I conduct further research on p53 in the coming weeks. Stay tuned, and thank you for reading!

5 Replies to “Week 2: DNA Isolation and p53”

  1. Jeffrey G. says:

    Your research seems very interesting! Despite the fact that your research is way too complicated for me to understand, I wish you the best in your project. I hope that you will be the one to find a cure for cancer!

  2. Dora X. says:

    Wow, your lab procedures are giving me a throwback to learning in Ms. P’s AP Biology class! Although your experiments are definitely much more complex, I do remember conducting similar gel electrophoresis labs. I look forward to seeing what you do next week!

  3. Jiaming Z. says:

    I am so jealous that you can work on site instead of stuck at home, it must be so exciting to conduct live isolation of DNA and electrophoresis. Be careful with the EtBr and other dangerous molecules in lab, otherwise you might be a live example of my “Physical Lab vs Simulation” research. Good luck!

  4. EPittman says:

    Hello! Jumping into your comments section to say that your blog post is so well-written! It seems that you are gaining excellent experience in the lab.

  5. Eric M. says:

    Wow, you made it to your lab fast! The hands-on work you’re doing is exciting, and I’m looking forward to hearing more about what you’re doing in the lab!

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