In this post for our Online Science Exhibition, PhD student Aitor Patiño from Francesco Ricci’s lab at UNITOV, exhibits the process of designing artificial genes.

You can visit this post, to watch the videos.

Every design starts at a whiteboard or a piece of paper, we have an idea of the length and shape we want the gene to take once it’s in solution
We use a spreadsheet program to build the oligonucleotide sequences we need for our design
We test in silico the base pairing of the sequences we designed and verify the predicted shapes and stability of the 1D structures in or other online tools and make a purchase order.
When the oligonucleotides are shipped. we verify their contents and synthesis report to start the experiments.
We carefully label and aliquot each oligonucleotide to ease the experimental workflow.
Here you can have a sneak peek of how I prepare some of these aliquots before an experiment. Follow this link to watch the video.
We can now start making experiments, and we usually test large amounts of enzymatic reactions in different conditions. These are tested into the black plate you see on the picture.
See me in action, loading that plate, like a Robot, by following this link to the video.
After the reactions are completed, we load their contents into the plate, and put it into the reader.
We pilot the reader from a computer, and then do statistical treatment of the data we obtain.


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