Biotechnology Class Analyzes DNA Samples

October 18, 2023

With Mr. Hansen’s guidance, students in Dr. Sayarath’s Biotechnology class utilized new PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) and gel electrophoresis technology to analyze DNA samples for the presence of a specific antibiotic-resistant gene.


PCR, the same technique used for laboratory-grade COVID tests, is a fairly recent revolutionary development for molecular biology. Researchers can produce billions of copies of a specific piece of DNA to make it easier to analyze. With gel electrophoresis, researchers can confirm the presence of specific genetic markers using the many copies of DNA produced with PCR. In this lab exercise, students investigated suspected occurrence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria from two farm locations based on real-world scenarios.


A recent grant helped the Science Department update to the latest generation of such equipment, which increases the accessibility to students of advanced industry-standard technology. This laboratory exercise was the inaugural run with the new equipment, and we look forward to continuing to incorporate this and other new technologies into our Science courses.

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