DNA Preservation in Epoxy Resin
By Selena Du
Junior Category (Grades 7-8)
Innovation | Biology
As the use of DNA is growing in many sciences such as forensic sciences to solve crimes, and bioengineering for cloning, it is important to be able to store DNA. The current most popular DNA storage method is freezing the DNA, but has major flaws, such as requiring a constant low temperature, costing millions to maintain. The purpose of this project is to potentially solve this problem by developing a method to store extracted DNA in cured epoxy resin without damaging the DNA.
In order to test this method, a thick layer of epoxy resin was hardened in a plastic mold. Then, spinach DNA was extracted, and placed onto the layer of hardened resin. New resin was poured over the DNA, and left to harden. Three of the resin covered DNA samples were made, and left for 2 weeks to preserve. Lastly, the resin of each sample was cut open, and the DNA was compared using agarose gel electrophoresis and DNA sequencing to spinach DNA that was not put into resin.
The results of this experiment showed that the extracted DNA can be preserved in epoxy resin for long periods of time without any damage, as the DNA put into resin was practically the same compared to the control. The quantity of DNA was kept in the resin, proven using agarose gel electrophoresis, and also, the sequence of the DNA kept in resin was the same to the sequence of the control, proven using DNA sequencing. This method of storing DNA can be used in the future to store DNA, as it is simple to make, doesn’t require low temperatures, is not affected by environmental factors, and is convenient for transportation.