Friday, March 13, 2015

It's Finally Science Time!

After we got our samples back from Long Beach, CA we have been busy making sure everything is ready to go for our samples! They are, after all, very important.  We first collected all of our samples from the EUs that were still in their ECs.  Since we've been back, we have kept them in the -80C freezer, waiting for the chance to thaw them and collect the contents.  That in and of itself was a long and tedious process for 40 samples.  It took the better part of a work day to finish; but, it was still very exciting knowing that these samples went to space and back and could potentially teach us many things.  Once everything was collected, we returned the hardware back to KI.

Pier Luigi and Fabio from KI with Francis from Nasa Ames with the returned hardware

Now that we have all our precious samples, we were now able to start the exciting part! First, we needed to extract the RNA from the samples.  We have extracted about half our samples which already took a few days.

Tara in the process of extracting our samples from space. 

Tara using the NanoDrop to measure the sample's concentration, purity, and among other things
Now we are waiting on the next step which is to send a portion of the samples off to another facility to see the differences in genes expressed in a 1g environment and ug environment.