Biotechnology class doing real science!
Students in Biotechnology class have been busy extracting their own DNA through saliva samples to detect non-disease causing gene variants such as ACE, ACTN3, OXTR, and TAS2R38. These genes code for athletic ability, muscular endurance, social interaction, and taste ability, respectively. All of this is made possible through training that Biotechnology teacher, Sherrie Hersom, got at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine during a one week course in July of 2015. JAX Lab provides support to her students through tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment, chemical reagents, sequencing services, and direct support from world-class geneticists. Students learn how to correctly micropipette, extract DNA, prepare samples for polymerase chain reaction, add and cut DNA with restriction enzymes, sequence their DNA samples in real-time using the LONZA System, read the resulting DNA fingerprints, prepare samples for Sanger Sequencing, analyze their samples after sequencing services through JAX Lab, and do bioinformatics using genetic data and databases available at the National Center for Biotechnology Information website. JAX Lab provides online support through CANVAS where teachers, who have been trained at their facility, have access to modules created by scientists at JAX Lab with teacher input. Careers in the Biotechnology field are among the top five career options for graduating high school seniors. This course has been offered to students at BRHS for the past two years.
Photo and video credits: Barbara Greenstone, BRHS Technology Integrator.