Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre

Roslin Lab Camp | PCR Masterclass: A Question of Taste

A full day, hands-on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) masterclass for Advanced Higher Biology pupils (school or college). Using your own DNA, you will use cutting-edge equipment to carry out the modern laboratory techniques of DNA extraction, PCR, restriction enzyme digestion and DNA gel electrophoresis.

Learning Level:  Higher and Advanced Higher Biology pupils, S6 or college students (+16 years old only) 

Date: Fully Booked

Cost: If you gain a place, the cost for LabCamp is £5 (if this cost is a barrier for you please do let us know ebsoc@ed.ac.uk) 

Time: 10am to 3:30pm + Tour of The Roslin Institute 



PCR Masterclass


Please note that we expect places to be very high demand and although we will try to accommodate everyone, sometimes this is not possible. 

Certificate of completion  is available free of charge on request. 

Learning Objectives

  • Understand DNA structure and function
  • Understand that we can identify genotypes using molecular biology techniques
  • Understand how restriction enzymes cut DNA
  • Use of restriction enzymes and electrophoresis to detect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in their own DNA
  • Interpretation of experimental results
  • To reveal the world of work in scientific research

Summary of workshop

Using your own DNA, you will discover and compare your version of a bitter taste receptor gene (genotype) to your ability to taste a bitter compound called phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) (phenotype). You will use cutting-edge equipment to develop expertise and carry out the modern laboratory techniques of DNA extraction, PCR, restriction enzyme digestion and DNA gel electrophoresis. You will update and deepen your knowledge about these practical techniques, tour the Roslin Institute and collaborate with colleagues to reflect on your own practice.  

Techniques used

  • DNA extraction
  • Centrifugation
  • Micropipetting
  • PCR
  • Restriction digest
  • DNA gel electrophoresis

Workshop timeline

  • DNA extraction of your own cheek cells using centrifugation to pellet your cells
  • Hands-on PCR activity and using micro-pipetting to set up PCR
  • Restriction digest to determine your genotype
  • Electrophoresis on agarose gels
  • Analysis and interpretation of results

Getting here

Free parking is available at Easter Bush Campus in The Roslin Institute and Veterinary Teaching Building car parks. Please provide your car registration at Charnock Bradley Building reception when you check in for the event.

The campus is well-served by Lothian buses (buses 15, some 37 services, the X47 (but not the 47) and the 67) – please see www.lothianbuses.com. For more information please download our How to Get Here  document 

Accessibility and Inclusion

We are keen to make our events as inclusive as possible - please email us at ebsoc@ed.ac.uk or call the Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre team on 0131 651 9679 before booking if you would like to find out more about accessibility or usability.


To remain updated about all our workshops, events and exciting opportunites please join our mailing list by clicking here or follow us on twitter @EBSOClab 


Downloadable Resources

Lab Techniques in Action- PCR Video (revision of technique)
Watch here
Risk Assessment 
Workshop Description 


I really enjoyed it and found it informative. It has also helped my understanding of PCR!

Higher Biology Pupil

It allowed me to use a different variety of equipment and gave me the opportunity to learn more advanced science knowledge. It was also different as it allowed me to participate in a different and lengthier experiment!

Higher Biology Pupil