Bio-Indicator Plasmid based on Green Flourescent Protein
|An annotated view of my new plasmid using a program |
|Glowing colonies of E. coli transformed with my new plasmid, you can see the |
green fluorescence on a UV lightbox
PCR is a lab technique that allows you to amplify a specific piece of DNA from a small amount of template DNA. PCR has huge potential in diverse areas of biology: it can be used to screen for specific genes in humans, it can be used to mutate and create new plasmids and much more. PCR uses a piece of lab equipment called a thermal cycler to carry out a PCR reaction. A thermal cycler simply cycles a small tube through a series of temperature cycles that allow an enzyme called DNA Polymerase to make copies of DNA. An alumni from Quest built a proof of concept thermal cycler from simple electronic components. He successfully performed PCR, but the speed of his thermal cycler was really slow. A commercial PCR machine might take an hour and a half for a reaction, that same reaction in his DIY thermal cycler would take 5 hours. I have taken over his project and aim to build a DIY thermal cycler that has comparable speed to a commercial machine but at 1/10 of the price.