Sixth Form Scientists Visit Edge Hill University

Budding Scientists in our A2 Biology group recently took a trip to Edge Hill University in Lancashire as part of their curriculum enrichment.

They have been studying genetics since September with Mr. Parker, making some excellent progress in the subject area. Recently the group had been studying ‘reporter genes’ which links in heavily with the experiment they took part in.

The objective of their trip was to create a transgenic organism (an organism that contains DNA which belongs to another species to you and me). DNA is a universal language, all known life contains DNA and because of this it is possible to place a section of DNA, or gene, into the genome of an organism and that gene will work!

The Sixth Form students undertook this experiment with the assistance and guidance of Andy Devaynes and Mr Parker. The group took a modified plasmid (a circular strand of DNA that is found in bacteria) and placed it into E.coli carefully following a stringent method. The plasmid they inserted into the bacteria is known as the pGLO plasmid which creates a luminescent protein which glows under a UV black light. If the experiment had worked then the bacteria would glow under the light and the control plates would not glow, meaning that the bacteria had taken up the gene and become ‘transgenic’.

We are pleased to say that each student completed the task successfully – demonstrating their excellent progress in the topic area and how far their practical skills had increased since the start of the year.