On Tuesday 29th November, 32 A-Level Biologists visited the Nottingham Trent University Bioscience laboratories.
Students first practiced pipetting tiny volumes (5ul or 0.005ml) of coloured water to create interesting patterns in wells. They then performed Gel Electrophoresis using DNA found at a Crime Scene. Gel electrophoresis is a technique used to separate different fragments of DNA on the basis of their size. The DNA is loaded into a well in the gel and an electrical field is applied to it. The DNA fragments move away from the negatively charged end and move towards the positively charged end. The DNA fragments with a smaller size move the furthest away from the wells. This produced bands which can be seen under UV light that allowed the students to compare the DNA profile of the crime scene sample with 5 suspects in order to conclude who the ‘murderer’ was.
The students were also shown the university’s state-of-the-art SuperLabs and were given a fascinating talk by the university staff about their career paths up to now.
The day was an invaluable experience for our students and gave them a superb insight into what university life would be like when choosing to pursue the sciences at university.
Mrs Buxton, Mr Wilson and Dr Mulligan would like to thank Abby, Sam and Helen from the NTU Biosciences Teaching Department for putting on such a fantastic day for our Trinity Biology students.