Getting Practical with Real-Time PCR

Current A-level Biology syllabuses now cover processes such as PCR, genotyping, DNA sequencing and genetic manipulation. However, the study is usually theoretical only since schools are not able to carry out practical work involving such expensive precision equipment. It was therefore a great pleasure to able to visit our local comprehensive, Stokesley School, to show the Biology Sixth Form some real Biology.

Helen and Greg from IT-IS took a MyGo Pro instrument, reagents, micropipettes and centrifuges and spent an afternoon with 30 lively young scientists. All are taking A-level biology this summer, and some will be going on to study biology, genetics, medicine or veterinary science at university. With their practical assistance we carried out an experiment to ascertain the genotype of 8 samples of reference human DNA and looked at data from other types of assay which the MyGo can perform.

The students were enthusiastic and inquisitive about this relevant, real-life, real-time PCR and asked some very pertinent and searching questions. Our hope is that this collaboration might inspire some of these students to enter the fascinating world of molecular biology in the future.

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