PCR Session at Middlesex University
A group of Enfield 6th form students were given the valuable opportunity by Middlesex University to learn about the principles underlying the use of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) in a fun and interactive way.
Polymerase chain reaction is a method widely used in molecular biology to make multiple copies of a specific DNA segment. In the computer simulation students were thrown right into a crime scene where a murder had taken place. They learnt about the theory behind PCR and were able to apply their newly acquired knowledge to a virtual scenario.
In the afternoon students attended a wet laboratory and used PCR as a diagnostic test of Sickle cell anemia. Here students were able to work with real DNA from patients. DNA samples were run on agarose gel; DNA was stained and visualized using UV light. Finally, the DNA pattern was used to identify individuals with Sickle cell mutation.
What students said: “This trip has been interesting but also fun and has taught us about PCR and genetic screening. Topics which both come up in the A2 section of the Biology A-Level course”. Saneaah and Stephanie (13.5)