1.) Identify different buffer conditions you might use for selection.
- What are your variables? Ionic strength, pH, metal ions, temperature, what else? Which variables are most interesting or important to a successful selection?
3.) Clone and sequence aptamers.
4.) Compare binding across different sets of conditions.
- Do aptamers that bind at one ionic strength or pH still bind at another? How specific is evolution for a given condition? Are some variables more important than others?
- Has anyone done this before? What does the primary literature look like?
- Do the aptamers from a given pool or different pools bind at the same or different sites on lysozyme? How would you determine this? How might you do an ELISA? What is an ELISA?
- Do your experiments have any bearing on the origin of life? It is thought that modern life was preceded by a 'RNA world.' What is the RNA world hypothesis? Is a robust RNA world more likely under some environmental conditions than others? Did your experiments delimit the conditions under which RNA was more or less functional?