Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Science time

Now that we have our samples back on Earth, it is time to get to the real work!

The samples were first thawed and RNA extracted from the T-cells. This step took several days alone to complete. We then ran the RNA on chips in the Agilent Bioanalyzer to determine quality and concentration.

We were all more than a little jittery during this part - imagine messing up and destroying the RNA at this stage of the experiment (AFTER it had flown to and returned from space?!)! Luckily, we had no problems and are now excited to get to the analysis part of the project :).

The next step will be performed by the UCSF Gladstone facility - they will run the RNA on GeneChips that will tell us which genes are expressed in the microgravity samples versus the 1g control samples.

Tara in the process of isolating RNA
Agilent Bioanalyzer machine