Hey y'all - it's Paul speaking.
I'm in lab right now, and we're extracting RNA from 2 populations of chlamydomonas (algae) cells: one was exposed to a heat shock and the other just enjoyed the normal room temperature environment.
Our aim is to investigate and contrast the RNAs transcribed during the normal environment and during the heat shock.
By looking at the different RNAs, which is directly reflective of DNA, we can deduce which genes are involved during the heat shock response.
So what's the similarity between mean old mob bosses and superlab students?
We both use chloroform (but in different ways, of course!)
Mob bosses put chloroform on a towel and shove it into thier victims' faces to knock them out.
We use chloroform to isolate RNA from other proteins in the chlamydomonas cell.
Afterwards, we'll remove the liquid layer contain our RNA from the liquid layer containing the cellular proteins (this ensues a lot of skilled hand work with the pipette). Then, we'll precipitate the RNA from the solution with ethanol, degrade any DNA that's in solution, and then wash our RNA precipitate to ensure good quality.
Stay tuned to see what we do with out RNA!!!