Winter Part II

Right as midterms were hitting I ran into other problems with my RNA synthesis.  It always tends to be the case that things spiral more out of control as the amount of things you have to deal with increases.  I was trying to increase my PCR (polymerase chain reaction) yield of the synthetic DNA I was amplifying in order to transcribe the complementary RNA molecules from it.  Although I had produced all 21 of my new RNA molecules via transcription I had some molecules with low yields, hence it would be difficult to carry out experiments since some of the molecules I will need to be in large concentrations.  So as the intense study sessions and cramming of biochemistry material into my brain began I also embarked on the RNA synthesis train which usually involves spending at least three or four days to complete the journey.  Once again it was a challenge to balance studying for midterms with working in the research lab and also taking a biochemistry lab course that consumes about ten or more hours of my time a week.  However I am beginning to master the tactics of planning my RNA synthesis steps around my class schedule so that I can either be in class  or studying while reactions are incubating or gels are running.  And it was definitely rewarding to figure everything out because I was able to re-synthesize my RNA molecules with some of the highest yields I have ever attained and in addition I was not brutally destroyed by any of my midterms; I think the first one went pretty well.

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Posted in 2010-2011, EUREKA

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Alex Iteen is a second year student majoring in Biology. He is interested in bioengineering and synthetic biology. He is currently working in Dr. Fygenson's lab on DNA nanotubes.
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