RNA interference (RNAi) is a powerful technology used to knock down genes in basic research and medicine. In 2006 RNAi technology using Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine and thus students graduating in the biological sciences should have experience with this technology. However, students struggle conceptually with the molecular biology behind the RNAi technology and find the technology difficult to grasp. To this end, we have provided a simple, streamlined and inexpensive RNAi procedure using C. elegans that can be adopted in upper level biology classes. By using an unknown RNAi-producing bacteria, students perform novel techniques, observe and determine which mystery gene was knocked down based on phenotype and experience a new research organism. By bringing this technology to the undergraduate lab bench, the gap between blackboard concept and proof of concept can be bridged.
Roy, N.M. (2013). Using Rnai In C. elegans to demonstrate gene knockdown phenotypes in the undergraduate biology lab setting. Bioscene 39(1), 16-20.