Fun Fact – Bats always exit
stage cave left! (The jury is still out on this one but more about echolocation in the coming weeks.
Day 5 in the Bat Lab and suffice to say, the week has flown. I am absolutely loving being back in the lab after being away from bench work for a few years.
Our task for this morning was to carry out electrophoresis on our samples from yesterday. Our results were not great this time and this turned out to be a fantastic learning opportunity. We discovered that our gel may not have been set completely before loading our samples, that our buffer needed changing and that human error is always possible. Thankfully we had enough sample to repeat our experiment and paying attention to the potential errors outlined above, we had great success on the second run.
So what does all this barcoding tell us?
These techniques can be used to identify and distinguish between different species. Choosing the right primer to amplify the correct section of DNA is paramount. If the primers are constructed around species – specific single nucleotide polymorphisms in the mitochondrial gene then species-specific bands are visible on the gel post electrophoresis thus allowing species identification and differentiation to be studied.
At the close of week 1, I would like to express my sincere thanks to Dr. Lao for her endless patience and fantastic teaching this week. Looking forward to next week already 🙂