NCRAD - The National Cell Repository for Alzheimer's Disease
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Processing of Samples

DNA and Cell LinesPlasma and SerumRNA

How RNA Samples Are Stored at NCRAD

  1. Another function of the National Cell Repository for Alzheimer's Disease involcollecting, storing, and distributing RNA samples for Alzheimer's disease (AD) research. Our goal is to provide the scientific community with a valuable resource for obtaining the material needed to study families with AD. Researchers from around the world may request the RNA samples, the material that is used in research. RNA samples are always de-identified (no identifying information such as name or date of birth is made available) before being distributed. Research on these samples does not provide any diagnostic testing information.

  2. The process of banking (storing) RNA samples begins when a blood sample is received from a study participant.

  3. The samples are taken to the lab and assigned a unique kit number. The kit number and information about the participant is recorded in a secured database.
  4. The samples are then assigned a unique bar code. The bar code number is entered into a logbook along with the unique kit number. These numbers are checked by several technicians for accuracy.

  5. The blood sample in a RNA PAXgene tube is stored at room temperature for two hours. Then the tube is placed in a machine and spun to separate the sample into three main layers: the red blood cell layer, the RNA layer and the supernatant (extra fluid at the top of the tube) layer.

  6. To isolate RNA wash the cell pellet and spin at a high speed, enabling the RNA to cluster together.

  7. Next, the RNA is separated from the cell components. This is accomplished by adding a salt solution, incubating and spinning the RNA and cell components at a high speed.

  8. The RNA is isolated and transferred to another tube, which now contains the desired RNA without the unnecessary cell components. A form of alcohol is added to the solution and interacts with the RNA. This allows the RNA to gather together and become visible.

  9. The RNA is then transferred to a small tube containing a solution that preserves the genetic material for future studies and the tube is incubated to stabilize the RNA.

  10. The RNA is stored for future use in a freezer set at -94ºF.

  11. NCRAD started to collect RNA samples in 2010. These samples and the clinical and family history information from these individuals will be used by researchers to understand the genetics of AD.

    We greatly appreciate all the support from the families who participate in NCRAD.

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