DNA & the Genome | PCR Masterclass: A Question of Taste
A full day, hands-on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) masterclass. Using their own DNA, students will discover and compare their version of a bitter taste receptor gene (genotype) with their ability to taste the bitter compound (phenotype). Includes a unique opportunity to meet and work with our scientists.
Learning Level: Higher & Advanced Higher
Location: Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre, The University of Edinburgh Easter Bush Campus, EH25 9RG
Minimum attendance: 16 (if your group falls below the minimum, we may be able to group you with another school)
Maximum attendance: 24
Duration: 5 hours
Timings: 10am - 3pm
Cost: £10 per pupil
Availability: Fully booked
A full day, hands-on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) masterclass for Higher Biology and Higher Human Biology pupils. Using their own DNA, pupils will discover and compare their version of a bitter taste receptor gene (their genotype) to their ability to taste the bitter compound (their phenotype). They will use cutting-edge equipment to carry out the modern laboratory techniques of DNA extraction, PCR, restriction enzyme digestion and DNA gel electrophoresis.
The equipment was excellent and there was high pupil engagement.
- 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
- DNA extraction
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
- Restriction digest
- DNA gel electrophoresis
- DNA extraction of pupil's own cheek cells using centrifugation to pellet their cells
- Introduction to PCR and using micro-pipetting to set up PCR
- Restriction digest to determine genotype
- Electrophoresis on agarose gels
- Analysis and interpretation of results
- Discussion with scientists from The Roslin Institute
Higher Human Biology
The structure of DNA
Replication of DNA - Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
Gene expression - Phenotype is determined by the proteins produced as the result of gene expression
Mutations - Mutations and single gene mutations
Genomic Sequencing - Comparison of genomes from different species and individual genomes analysis
Structure and replication of DNA - replication of DNA and Polymerase chain reaction
Gene expression - Phenotype is determined by the proteins produced as the
result of gene expression
Mutations - Mutations are changes in the DNA that can result an altered protein being synthesized (b) Single gene mutations
Human genomics - Individual genomes analysis
Developing the Young Workforce – “I can” statements
The following "I can" statements are supported through EBSOC’s workshops:
I can identify the skills I have learnt across the curriculum, how these relate to the world of work and can apply these appropriately during work placements and other work-related learning.
I can confidently access and interpret the information I need to make well informed choices about my learning options, pathways and how these relate to possible future careers.
I can work towards achieving qualifications which support me to achieve my future career aspirations.
I really enjoyed it and found it informative. It has also helped my understanding of PCR!
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!
Pupils had the opportunity to use equipment not available in school to get hands-on experiences of a range of molecular biology techniques. I think the workshop was well organised with a range of activities making the most of waiting time. I was really pleased that pupils were offered a tour of the Roslin Institute.
Pupils enjoyed being able to use the PCR equipment and the practical nature of the workshop. They were impressed with the facilities and the content of the workshop.
- Video: PCR MASTERCLASS
- PCR Masterclass