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What do you know...
... you really can make RNA loading dye with > 10 year old formamide and get sharp bands! (Usually, old formamide will chop your RNA like hell) I'm eager to see what my RT-PCRs will look like tomorrow!
RT-PCR stands for Real time polymerase chain reaction and is a basic molecular bioloy method...
1) Proteins do most of the metabolic reactions in your cells
2) They are porduced from templates that are read from the genes on the DNA. These templates are made from RNA. They basically tell you which genes are expressed at what moment and at what level.
3) You can isolate this RNA from the cells. The tricky part is: RNA is not very stable, and there are very mean enzymes everywhere trying to chop up the RNA, just for fun...
4) In order to stabilize and handle RNA, you need the chemical formamide. The funny part ist that formamide itself is not very stable, and once it's too old, rather than protecting the RNA, it itself will chop it up.
5) More that 10 year old formamide that has been kept in a suspicious looking shelf is almost certainly bad for your RNA.
6) Nevertheless, I managed to extract one of my best RNA samples so far with it.