Big things poppin, lil’ things stoppin

One small step for DNA analysis, one big leap for PCR products. This week we managed to get PCR underfoot. For those who do not know what PCR is, I will give a brief introduction. PCR stands for Polymerase Chain Reaction. Basically, we mix a beautiful concoction of chemicals with extracted DNA that simulates how DNA replicates in the body. In PCR, a person can start with one strand of DNA, and by the end, there are actually billions of strands of DNA! It’s wowabunga cowabunnga crazygonutso awesome.

What importance does PCR have in this circumstance? Well, we used primers to replicate the DNA of a Trichobilharzia (Swimmer’s Itch)- infected snail. Lo and behold, we have so much Trichobilharzia DNA that we can actually send it for sequencing!!!!! This is big news guys, big news. I am posting a photo of the magic gel that showed us our success.


That brightly glowing line in the second row is Trichobilharzia DNA!! The first row is Snail DNA, and the bottom two are base pair ladders.

I can tell everyone it was beyond exciting to get such results.

Till next week


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About Diana Dalbotten

Diana Dalbotten is the Director of Diversity and Broader Impacts for the National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics and the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnesota; and for the Geoscience Alliance, a national alliance for broadening participation of Native Americans in the Geosciences.

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