Blog Post #2- Determining the function of F10C2.4 in reproduction

Eight weeks ago I discussed my three goals for this year. First, analyzing the data I have found so far. Second, performing experiments using a strain related to my gene of interest from the Million Mutation Project. Third, perform microscopy to further my understanding of how reproduction works in the C. elegans. So far I have started to work towards each of my goals in small steps.
My first goal of analyzing the data I had collected so far along with a few repeated experiments from this semester. I has already collected similar data from about three trials from the academic year 2015-2016 however I wanted to confirm that the RNA interference was the same as I had established last semester. With the help of my research team, we were able to repeat the experiment three times with identical results. That being said, we can safely conclude that my gene of interest F10C2.4 plays a role in interrupting something in reproduction. With the RNA interference experiment we looked at two controls, the negative control [L440] and positive control [npp-19]. L440 is designed to show no issue in reproduction. As a result we expected to have a large percentages of the eggs on the plate to hatch into worms. Npp-19 is designed to have a problem in reproduction where there is a problem with the mom and that causes eggs to be laid but not hatch on the plate. With RNA interference with my gene F10C2.4 I got the results of npp-19 thus resulting the conclusion mentioned previously. By analyzing the data, it can make it easier for people to understand what it really means as a whole rather than individual trials. I have learned how to perform exploratory data analysis and now we are looking for the right program for statistical analysis. Since I haven’t taken statistics yet, it makes the process a little more difficult which is why we are at a standstill in regards to that.
My second goal was to perform experiments using strains from the Million Mutation Project. MMP is unique that it is a way to understand genetics in C. elegans. I have worked on going through the various MMP strains and targeted the ones that had mutations in my specific gene of interest, F10C2.4. As a result, I had to narrow down the fourteen different strains I had depending on which had a conserved sequence in the human ortholog for my gene of interest. As a result I choose three to five genes to order and just on Friday we have received them. Now we need to prep the C. elegans making sure they are well feed and healthy to have experiments performed with them. That will be one of the first things we do next semester.
My third goal is something I have been meaning to do for a while since it can give us a lot of information about what happens in the C. elegans’ body. One of the great advantages from using this organism is that it is transparent which lets us see in their bodies very easily. By using microscopy we can look that the embryos of the mom C. elegans to determine at what stage does the cell division may have stopped or have an issue. From that we can infer more about what F10C.24 is necessary for. However due to technological problems with the microscope we haven’t been able to work on it but hopefully by next semester we can start.
So far, I have learned so much from how research in genetics works. There is a lot of different methods and experiments to perform with the model organism of Caenorhabditis elegans which is a benefit for us, the researchers. Although there has been some rough patches with the technology I am hopefully that next semester we will be able to move further towards visually seeing what happens when F10C2.4 is not active in the genome.

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