Of course, being a science-obsessed enginerd, I wanted to tell you about the cool experiment I did in my Molecular Biology lab today! We got to analyze a little piece of our own cheek cell DNA.
First, we scraped some of our cells out of our cheeks, added some solutions and buffers, and then performed PCR on the cells. PCR, or Polymerase Chain Reaction, is a procedure used to replicate a specific segment of DNA. The DNA strand we looked for was Alu. It really doesn’t have much significance in terms of gene expression, but it can really help with determining population genetics.
Anyways, after replicating the segment, we ran the samples through an agarose gel to find the sizes of our sequences in order to determine the presence of the Alu sequence. It was super awesome!! Turns out my lab partner, Melissa, is heterozygous for the gene and I am homozygous negative!
I love that we added a personal touch to our labs and made science so much more fun!