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In October, twenty Y13 biology students attended a Gene Technology workshop at Oxford University in which they used molecular biology practical techniques using research-quality equipment which we do not have in school. The students analysed and compared their version of a bitter taste receptor gene (their genotype) to their ability to taste a bitter chemical called PTC (their phenotype). Students isolated their own DNA from cheek cells and used polymerase chain reaction to amplify a key fragment of the taste receptor gene. Students then used gel electrophoresis to visualise their digested DNA to discover their genotype and compare this to their phenotype. The results were discussed in the context of human evolution.

Dr Stephanie Warren
 
Marling
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