Sixth Form Biology students tried their hand at something completely different last week. Thanks to a windfall win from one of our biology students, they had a go at genetic modification. GM is a multi-step process commonly used to produce medicines and crops and is a core part of the A-level curriculum.
Using E. coli bacteria, they ran an experiment using a specific kit to GM the bacteria, which will glow green once the chemical reaction has been completed.
The Biology Department weren’t sure whether the experiment would succeed as there were many variables to consider in the multi-step process. However, today, they were pleased to report that synthesis has succeeded, marked by a noticeable bright green residue indicating successful protein production.
Dr Smith said, “I am very proud of our Sixth Form students’ work in this area as this is a cutting-edge aspect of biology, and it is great for students to get hands-on experience to bring the science to life.”
This fantastic learning opportunity arose from the success of student Soumya winning joint first prize in a National STEM competition exploring ‘how vaccines work and their uses in controlling infectious diseases’1st prize in national STEM competition – Truro School Student Harry also received a commendation for his project in the same competition.
In consultation with the biology department, School purchased these special genetic modification kits with the prize money to further their knowledge and experience of the role of green fluorescent protein in GM. Soumya said, “I chose these cutting-edge kits with help from the biology team as it linked in well with our module on genetic engineering and was an excellent opportunity to do something extra to extend our knowledge in this field.”