Fall; Grades 11–12
Prerequisites: Biology, Chem Study
Students explore the many techniques used in a biotechnology setting and develop an understanding of how these techniques are used in scientific research. Students must be able to function relatively independently in the laboratory (after directions and demonstrations are provided) and to complete independent follow-up. The course mimics a National Institute of Health (NIH) internship experience. Students perform hands-on techniques, including the extraction and electrophoresis of DNA and proteins, restriction digestion of DNA, amplification of DNA using the polymerase chain reaction, and the cloning of DNA. They are introduced to the use of computer software to conduct bioinformatics research. Students discuss how these techniques help solve real-world problems. They also learn how to use the biomedical research bibliographic database PubMed and begin the transition from using online resources to primary scientific literature. Students choose a final research project and give an oral presentation.