What should my RNA look like on a denaturing gel?

This figure, produced by Dr. Laura Hoopes at Pomona College, shows the range of RNA quality. You can use this as a guide to evaluate the quality of your RNA preparation prior to cDNA production. You may want to consult the RNA isolation page as well.

The OD260/OD280 ratio can be > 1.8 indicating "good" RNA and
still be degraded or contaminated by DNA, as seen in the image above.

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