Quick Guide to the Lab

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  • Updated 7 years ago
For a video explanation on how to use lab, watch the video tutorial.

1) Choose current lab in the menu RNA lab



Pick a lab and choose the option participate



Then choose design your RNA



You can make 3 designs for each lab. First solve the puzzle, just as you solve challenge puzzles. You can, at your own risk, stray from the model and submit a solve that does not follow constraints.

2) Dot Plot and Melt plot

There are some lab tools you can use to help you get an idea if a design is good or bad. They are an estimate and not a 100% prediction. To see your design’s dot and melt plot, click the eye symbol in the tool box.



A clean dot plot means high probability that the RNA will fold as it should. A good dot plot is no guarantee the design will fold as wished, but a real bad dot plot is usually bad news (there have been a few exceptions).

Dot plots from winning designs


A dot plot is clean when the top right triangle is similar to the left bottom triangle. The left bottom triangle symbolizes the ideal dot plot, the top is the estimate of how it will fold.

Bad dot plot


A messy dot plot means a messy fold. Xevron

3) Melt plot

A good melt plot will often have a flat beginning for the first 1 or 2 squares to the left.

Good melt plot


Bad melt plot


A quick rise in melt plot – in the first square - is nearly always a very bad sign.

4) Classic lab errors

The classic lab errors. Making designs all GC-pairs, all AU-pairs or mostly GU-pairs.

Eterna slang for all GC design - Christmas tree


Eterna Slang for all AU design - Cub scout


Eterna slang for GU-filled design - Optical illusion


5) Submit your lab design

When your design is finished, click the submit button.



Give your design a title and a description.

6) Voting

Choose Vote



You will get 8 votes pr. lab round. Use them to vote on the designs you think will do well in lab. You get points based on how well the designs you voted for fold in the lab.

Click on a design on the list to open its title page.



Click vote



Go forth into the lab and play!

Edit by Starryjess

This is a brewed down lab guide. If you later want to learn more about lab and lab designing, you can read following lab guides:

Lab guide for new players

My strategy guide for lab

Mat’s lab design strategy

Ways to deal with lab voting - in huge labs

Ways to deal with lab designing - in huge labs

General lab info and lab tech details

Switch lab guide

For more guides in general see the WIKI guide collection Player-Created Guides.
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Eli Fisker

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Posted 7 years ago

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