How do you take a very small DNA sample and still be able to diagnose a patient with a possible disease, study specific genes at their base-pair level or solve a crime? You make copies of it! The discovery of Polymerase Chain Reaction, PCR, took an in vivo process of DNA replication and made it an in vitro system, transforming our ability to study DNA.
In this hands-on lab you will run PCR reactions for various number of cycles to see at what point you have generated enough copies to detect the PCR products by gel electrophoresis. This activity will illustrate the natural phenomenon of exponential growth, allow your students to model the copy number of DNA mathematically during PCR, and see the results of their predictions.
Appropriate for high school life AP, honors, advanced biology and biotechnology (grades 9-12)
Materials Included in Each MiniLab:
Each MiniLab contains enough materials for 10 workstations, 2 – 3 students per workstation.
- Ten 1% agarose GreenGel™ Cups
- One bottle of 100 mL Tris-Borate-EDTA (TBE) buffer concentrate, enough to make 2L of 1X running buffer
- FastTaq PCR MasterMix (2X)
- One primer set, forward and reverse
- Lambda phage genomic DNA sample
- MiniOne® DNA marker
- MiniOne® 5X sample loading dye
- One bag of 0.2 mL thin-wall PCR tubes
- One bag of 0.65 mL microcentrifuge tubes