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AS Biology Students Carry Out a Nobel Prize Winning Technique at Coventry University

On Thursday 30th June, 13 AS Biologists went to the James Starley Building at Coventry University to take part in a morning of undergraduate level Biology practical work.

Students collected a sample of their own DNA from their cheek cells, isolated it from the rest of the cell’s contents and purified it. Megan Brookes was able to collect nearly 6 times more of her own DNA than the staff had previously seen – so much so that they had to check it 3 times to be sure!

The students then carried out a Nobel Prize winning technique called “PCR” to amplify the DNA to make about a billion copies of it. The different fragments to DNA were then separated using a technique called gel electrophoresis, which they learned about last week.

The students were able to experience first-hand a university laboratory and equipment, whilst developing important practical skills, whilst making a very abstract concept like PCR “real” by actually doing it. They answered questions confidently, and several students were also asking the staff (which included an ex-President Kennedy School student now working as a lecturer) questions about careers and pathways involving Science.

We are waiting for their final results to come through, but all students were superb, taking great pride in the quality of their practical work and techniques. Well done to all who attended!