health medicine and biotechnology
Rapid Nucleic Acid Isolation Method and Fluid Handling Devices
Gene expression analysis measures the activity of genes and reveals valuable information about the internal states of living cells. NASA Ames has developed a novel system for conducting quantitative, real-time gene expression analysis that not only significantly improves the sample preparation procedures and provides a quick, cost-effective solution needed in a laboratory, but also minimizes the risk of RNA contamination and degradation. The invention, a novel assay methodology and suite of devices have been developed to isolate nucleic acids from Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic cells and prepare samples for Reverse Transcriptase - quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-qPCR) analysis. The invention consists of a method to extract and purify nucleic acids from biospecimen that does not require organics or toxic chemicals, and provides containment for the liquids. The assay employs an aqueous-based non-alcohol method that yields robust RNA quality; and PCR reaction tubes that are pre-loaded with stabilized lyophilized reagents designed to perform RT-qPCR analysis - all in all enabling rapid, cost effective, and portable manual operation in the laboratory or remote field environments. This innovative technology greatly reduces preparation time to less than 10% of the time it would take using standard techniques. This technology could be used with any commercial quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) machine.