Biology students experience a day in a lab
Our A-level biology students recently took part in a day’s lab work at the Centre for Life in Newcastle. The Year 13 students extracted their own DNA and amplified it (made more of it) using the PCR technique. They then digested it (broke the DNA down into smaller pieces) and separated the fragments using gel electrophoresis. This showed whether the genotype of the students matched their phenotype of being able to taste a bitter flavour called PTC. In most cases it did!
Archie Marshall, Year 13 student, said: “I had a brilliant time at the Life Centre Labs, taking theory learned in our biology classes and applying them to a practical with top of the range equipment was incredibly engaging. It gave me great insight into what it would be like working in a lab and the skills necessary to work as part of a team to get quality results.”
Rob Haye, Lead Teacher for Biology, said: “The techniques the students use in this lab really help bring to life the theory of using genetic technology to identify genetic traits. The full lab days are similar to what taking science at university is like, so this is useful for students thinking of studying biology further. Additionally it was really pleasing to get such good results from what was essentially a 7 hour practical lesson.”