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:
- Plasmid DNA Isolated (Miniprep)
- 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!