Edvotek at Home
"Edvotek at Home" is a set of resources to teach the basics of Edvotek’s labs through worksheets and presentations. While we believe in the importance of hands-on learning, these free online learning tools are ideal if you can not perform the hands-on experiments in class. Each set includes a student sheet, an instructor’s guide, and an accompanying powerpoint presentation and results sheet. This resource is provided in a downloadable zipped folder below.
• Restriction Enzyme Analysis of DNA Blog Post
Multiplex PCR of Water Contaminants - Water pollution is a universal problem because clean water is essential for human health, aquatic life, and agriculture. Waterborne microorganisms can cause severe illness, so scientists must monitor the water supply to ensure that it remains safe for human use. In this experiment, students learn how Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is used to detect several waterborne microorganisms simultaneously.
Exploring the Genetics of Taste: SNP Analysis of the PTC Gene Using PCR - Individuals vary greatly in their sensitivity to the bitter compound PTC. Ability to taste the PTC compound is now linked to the presence of a specific taste receptor gene, TAS2R38. The gene has two alleles: the dominant allele (T), which confers the ability to taste PTC, and the recessive non-taster allele (t). A person inherits one copy of the gene from each of his/her parents. The combination of these different alleles within an individual is referred to as a genotype, which in turn dictates phenotype: in this case whether an individual is a “taster” or “non-taster." In this experiment, students will learn how to isolate DNA and use PCR to amplify a segment of the TAS2R38 gene, which is responsible for detecting the bitter taste of PTC. Digestion of the PCR products and analysis by agarose gel electrophoresis are used to differentiate tasters and non-tasters.
Transformation: Exploring Biotechnology With GFP - Transformation is when bacteria acquire exogenous DNA from the environment. In the laboratory, scientists can harness this technique to turn bacteria into protein production machines. This resource is specific for the EdvoKit 303: Exploring Technology with GFP, but it’s also adaptable for any transformation exercise you’d like your students to explore. Simply change plasmid to create a multitude of possible lessons. If you would like your students to focus on transformation, and not the accompanying extraction and purification of GFP, use only the first half of the student guide.
• Transformation Blog Post
The ELISA Assay - The Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay, or ELISA, is a sensitive laboratory technique that uses antibodies to detect the presence of specific molecules (i.e. peptides, proteins, or hormones) in a complex sample. These samples can be single proteins or complex mixtures like cellular lysates. The ELISA is commonly used for medical diagnostics, as it can identify antigens in blood and other biological samples. In this experiment, students will master the experimental concepts and methodology involved with a quantitative ELISA.
• The ELISA Assay Blog Post
Chromatography - Gel filtration chromatography (sometimes referred to as molecular sieve chromatography) is a method that separates molecules according to their size and shape. The separation of the components in the sample mixture, with some exceptions, correlates with their molecular weights. The objective of this experiment is to introduce the principles of gel filtration (molecular sieve) chromatography as a method that separates molecules according to their size and shape. A mixture of two different molecules will be separated in this experiment.
• Quarantine Chromatography Blog Post
Protein Electrophoresis - Proteins produce a unique challenge for electrophoresis because they have complex shapes and different charges, which affect how they migrate through the gel. SDS polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis, or SDS-PAGE, is a technique that is used to separate proteins according to their molecular weight. The protein samples have been denatured by incubation with a strong detergent, then loaded into a polyacrylamide gel. An electrical current is passed through the gel, pushing the proteins through the gel towards the positive electrode. Since molecules of different sizes travel at different speeds, they separate into discrete “bands” within the gel. In this experiment, SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis is used to develop an understanding of protein structure, function and diversity.
Edvotek® Biotechnology Scavenger Hunt - This activity was created as an "around the house" search but can be tried in many settings. For each clue, record the name and description or picture of an item. Multiple items can be listed for each clue. Because biotechnology is closely related to many other science subjects (molecular biology, chemistry, genetics, microbiology, etc.), we’ve included a few clues from these fields.
Edvotek® YouTube Live Stream - Biotech Basics: Fundamentals of Electrophoresis - Watch as Dr. Danielle Snowflack discusses the principles of agarose gel electrophoresis using brightly-colored dyes. The entire process, from loading and running the gel to analyzing the results, are covered in this informational session.