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Novartis-Besuchstag 2011

Class 4B spent Tuesday 22 February at Novartis Bioscience performing some manipulative procedures which are common in Biotech research & development.

Dr Gesche Standke confirmed our knowledge of gene technology from lessons at GM with Dr Gerard Batts: she explained how the laboratory equipment is used: including the hi-tech micro-pipettes which precisely deliver only microlitre volumes.

We isolated the plasmid DNA from E.coli bacteria. Then we added the restriction enzyme Nci1 to some DNA samples, which “digested” the plasmids into a population of DNA fragments.

Then we left the enzymes to cut the bacterial DNA into fragments while we went for a complimentary lunch in the Novartis restaurant: super  & much appreciated.

Finally we tried to separate and visualize the DNA fragments with gel electrophoresis ("DNA fingerprinting": the technique used in forensic science to identify those responsible for crimes). We loaded our DNA fragments into the gel electrophoresis chamber. Since DNA is negatively charged, the fragments migrated to the positive terminal of the gel chamber; smaller fragments migrate faster through the gel, which leads to their separation by mass on the gel. After 60 minutes of electrophoresis, we used UV light to reveal & analyse our DNA fragment patterns.

We thank Dr Standke for opening our eyes & guiding us during the entire day of experimentation: it was very interesting and informative,

4B Class Team

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