More Obstacles

    In our last work period (March 7th), we performed gel electrophoresis with the gel we created last class and seven of our current DNA samples. The gel rejected (the samples floated out of their wells) the first few samples when we placed them in the wells. We believe this is because the gel was kept in a refrigerator that was set at too low a temperature. Having gels too cold cause cause them to shrivel and compress. This compression leaves the wells very shallow, meaning that the samples cannot properly sit there. Out of the 8 wells, only the first three had this issue so we hoped that a few of our samples would be left unaffected after electrophoresis. After the thirty minute wait, we used our blue light transilluminator to examine the gel. Only the DNA ladder (surprisingly in one of the three affected wells) appeared. We have a few hypotheses as to why our DNA did not fluoresce under the blue light. The first idea is that we used an improper amount of Syber Safe DNA stain when casting the gel. The second is that we added the stain to the in process gel before heating it, when we should have added it after. Either of these are plausible conclusions to our failed experiment. Nevertheless, we have 6 samples remaining before we must venture out to collect more. Our next test will be conducted after spring break with these 6 samples. Hopefully it will work. Below is a picture of our gel after electrophoresis. The only bands that are evident (towards the upper left corner) are from the DNA ladder.