Event Title

DNA Detection in Salt

Start Date

5-9-2016 10:15 AM

End Date

5-9-2016 10:45 AM

Description

Biological material surviving in modern halite (salt) on Earth may point to a method for detection of potential or former life in salt deposits on Mars. This project attempts to find an efficient method extracting cells and DNA from modern halite crystals to gain more insight into efficient method of extracting DNA from ancient salt. Our method considers the limitations of Mars Rover techniques in terms of reagents and simplicity. Halite was collected from the north shore of Great Salt Lake, Utah. Through direct experimentation, we designed a filtration system to isolate DNA from salt samples and refined this process to provide the highest yields of clean DNA. To determine quantities of DNA, we experimented with several highly-sensitive detection methods. Our most promising method utilized the dye, pico-green, which is detectable by a ultraviolet spectrophotometer. Methods for the best yield and detection will be presented as well as a design that adapts this work to remote techniques.

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May 9th, 10:15 AM May 9th, 10:45 AM

DNA Detection in Salt

Biological material surviving in modern halite (salt) on Earth may point to a method for detection of potential or former life in salt deposits on Mars. This project attempts to find an efficient method extracting cells and DNA from modern halite crystals to gain more insight into efficient method of extracting DNA from ancient salt. Our method considers the limitations of Mars Rover techniques in terms of reagents and simplicity. Halite was collected from the north shore of Great Salt Lake, Utah. Through direct experimentation, we designed a filtration system to isolate DNA from salt samples and refined this process to provide the highest yields of clean DNA. To determine quantities of DNA, we experimented with several highly-sensitive detection methods. Our most promising method utilized the dye, pico-green, which is detectable by a ultraviolet spectrophotometer. Methods for the best yield and detection will be presented as well as a design that adapts this work to remote techniques.