Getting to grips with RNA technologies

I propelled into Week 2 focussing on updating my video and audio editing skills. After these had been brought up to scratch and a few new tricks learnt, I spent the rest of the week focusing on updating slides which will be used for the ‘Genome to Proteome’ distance learning material, primarily on ‘Measurement of  RNA expression using quantitative PCR’.

The slides were brought to life by adding more information and pictures, along with a PCR animation I put in. Many concepts were hard to grasp and some extra reading was marvellously handy.

I met with Dr Andrew Bicknell, who wrote the original slides. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss where the materials could be improved / updated for an online delivery.

I wrote a little synopsis of the materials so far, here it goes:

‘Gene expression can be monitored by the presence of mRNA. To monitor this, amplification of the gene is necessary. There are various techniques with different sensitivities and selectivities, which can be used for amplification. Real time PCR is based on the use of reverse transcriptase to allow normal PCR to take place’.

On the social side of my UROP placement, Tee initiated a discussion with Ted to look at my CV. They suggested improvements, which was much appreciated!

Want to learn more about RNA expression & PCR, look out for my blogs.

Sam Holton

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