I just wanted to share some good news and provide a quick update on the project. A couple of weeks ago, I received the completed sample preparation (pictured left). This tube with about 100 microliters (less than a drop) has amplified DNA from 221 total samples from around the country. Each fragment of DNA has "barcodes" attached to it that is used to assign the sequences to the samples after sequencing.
The picture on the right is a gel electrophoresis- basically we pull DNA through Jello to separate it out by size. The first three lanes (1-3) are our pooled samples from each plate that we're later combined into the tube. The last 2 lanes (4-5) have a DNA "ladder" which has DNA fragments of known lengths so we can compare our samples to known values. It basically just a quick and dirty check to make sure everything looks good before sending it off.
This tube was mailed the Genomics Core at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center in Denver. I spoke to them yesterday (Monday), and they said the sequencing had been completed over the weekend and that the initial quality scores look good. I should receive the data this week, and we can start digging into it.
Please keep an eye out for more regular updates in the coming weeks and and we can go through this dataset together.