Assignments: Doing the assignments is helpful to understanding the concepts of this lab. The Assignments here were written to benefit a wide range of general biology classes and you should find them useful, but check with your instructor before proceeding with any Assignments.
It is important to review the different equipment portrayed in the laboratory in order to understand the mechanics of the process of translation. Roll the mouse over each piece of equiment illustrated on the left until you see a red box outlined around the equipment. Click on the outlined area for a description of each piece of equipment and its function. The pieces of equipment you will be introduced to are a protein sequencer/scintillation counter, nucleotide bottles, translation mix, RNA synthesizer, and the Notebook.
In order to produce an RNA chain to translate, you will use the RNA synthesizer shown in this screen. The four bottles on the left represent possible input nucleotides. The bottle to the right will be filled with synthesized RNA once the machine is activated. On the far right a notebook is presented for your use. See Notebook for more details on using the notebook.
RNA SYNTHESIZER CONTROLS
Make RNA: The nucleotides you selected in the input bottles are chained together to make a string of RNA. The synthesized RNA is magnified and shown at the bottom. If you filled more than one input bottle, the resulting RNA will repeat the sequence of nucleotides you selected. If all the nucleotide bottles are empty, no RNA will be created.
Add to Notes: Click this button immediately after viewing the RNA produced to move the information into the Notebook. If you don't click this before leaving this screen, the information will be discarded.
Next, your RNA sequence goes to the translation mix and then to the protein sequencer. A magnified view of the readout panel on the sequencer will tell you which amino acids your choices produced, OR it will tell you that no protein was produced.
Show Animation: When this box is checked the translation animation will display every time you enter the translation screen. Unchecking the box will skip the animation, speeding up your access to the results of your experiments.
As you run experiments, form hypotheses and test them, you should keep notes on your theories and findings in the TranslationLab notebook.
Clear Page: Use this to erase all the information on a Notebook page.
Export: Export your notes to an web browser window for printing or saving.
Tabs: Numbered tabs on the left side allow you to move between Notebook pages.