In which Year 13 biologists cut up DNA and make jelly, all in the name of biotechnology.
Slicing up plasmids and forcing them to them to migrate irresistibly through a gel matrix was all in a day’s work for the year 13 biologists on their recent field trip to the biochemistry department at the University of Otago. Why were they doing this? Ostensibly it was for part of their gene transfer internal, but secretly they wanted to play with the toys and techniques they’ve seen on CSI! After successfully loading their gels with DNA we were treated to a lecture delivered by Tony Zaharic who gave us an informative talk on the ins and outs of recombinant DNA technology. Following this the gels were ready for analysis (after special UV photos were taken) and we able to visualise the plasmid DNA profiles and also determine which of the class has a chance at being a top flight forensic investigator! We would like to thank Kaye Wilson and her team for providing this wonderful opportunity to get hands on access to techniques not easily carried out at school.