PCR of Lambda

Lab 02 Lambda PCRlab Handout

Please prep day 1 for Thursday, September 6, and Day 2 for Monday, September 10.

Note: the molecular weight standard used in this lab contains bands of the following sizes: 23,123 bp; 9,416 bp; 6,557 bp; 4,361 bp; 2,322 bp; 2,027 bp; and 564 bp.


In order to learn about the process of PCR, you should first view the video shown below.  This video is from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s BioInteractive resources.



You are already familiar with the process of electrophoresis, which will be used to analyze your DNA in this lab.  However, your previous experience with electrophoresis used visible dyes as your samples.  DNA is not visible in solution, so you will have to stain your gel in order to see your sample.  View the video below to learn about the process of staining a gel.

staining a gel2


When it is time to analyze your gel, you will need a piece of SemiLogPaper.


Electrophoresis and Micropipetting

Resources for:  Lab 01:  Micropipetting and Electrophoresis

In this lab, you will learn about the process known as electrophoresis, and how it is done.  You will also gain familiarity with working with micropipettors.


The Lab 01 Electrophoresis and Micropipetting handout includes procedural information for the execution of this lab.

Links to learn about electrophoresis


Documents with procedural information.  These documents are good companions for the videos below.


Videos to view before lab

Using Micropipettors

How to use adjustable micropipettors

Pouring Gels

pouring Gels

Loading Gels

Loading a Gel for Electrophoresis


Update on Designer Babies Project

Below are the questions that the class generated regarding information you need to review or learn before fully understanding the science behind the designer baby video.  These are the same questions that were on the board at the end of class on Thursday.  I’ve taken the liberty of grouping them loosely.  They don’t have to stay in this arrangement.

1.  Questions about DNA Structure and Function (Sarah Phillip)

  • How is it expressed to form a trait?

2.  Questions about the Human Genome (Caroline & Tessa & Mary Frances)

  • Review of the X and Y chromosomes

3. Questions about classical (Mendelian) genetics (John, John, Johnny)

  • What does Dominance/Recessive mean (at the molecular level)?

4.  Questions about gametes and fertilization (Josh, Zain)

  • How are gametes formed?
  • What are the differences in structure between eggs and sperm?

5. Mitosis and meiosis. (Cici, Keli)

6. Questions about the technology itself.

  • What are the costs?
  • At what point in development would selecting for a trait occur?
  • Would this technology select for traits naturally found in the couple, or would it be used to genetically modify offspring?
  • How long does this process take?

7.  Questions about downstream effects

  • How might this technology affect future generations?

Genetics and Ethics

As soon as scientists started to understand the code of life, it was clear that society needed to consider the vast implications of this knowledge.   The Center for Genetics and Society is one organization whose goals include supporting “benign and beneficent medical applications of the new human genetic and reproductive technologies” while opposing “those applications that objectify and commodify human life and threaten to divide human society.”

We live in an exciting time and new discoveries are published every day.  We must take the time to consider the implications of such discoveries.  What are the benefits?  Are there also costs?  Should there be legislation that helps guide society to use this knowledge wisely?  Or should the scientific community be given no boundaries?

During your time in this course, you will be required to participate in discussions about the ethical implications of genetic science.  This discussion will occur online, on our blog  Each of you is required to find a current article about genetics and consider it’s implications with regards to society or ethics.  You may choose articles from the Center for Genetics and Society, or you may choose something you’ve found on your own.  Please write a 1 or two paragraph summary of the article.  In the summary you write, you should include a link to the article, so your classmates can read it.  Finally, end your post with a question that you would like to see discussed.

Write your summary and question on a Google doc and have it ready before class starts on August 30.  During class (while your gels are running), I will show you all how upload your post to the blog.  Once this is accomplished, the posts will be kept offline until I post them. Each Monday morning, I will make one post live on our blog.  Each student in this course must respond to the question that has been posed by the author at least once in that week.  I encourage you to contribute more than one comment – in order for a discussion to continue.

During the semester, we may ask students in other courses to comment as well.


Welcome to our classroom on the web!

Welcome to Holland Hall Advanced BioInqury:  Genetics.  I’m looking forward to a great semester with you!  This website will become an essential part of our class community, and you will all receive authorship privileges, allowing you to write posts and participate in virtual discussions throughout the semester.


We titled these electives “BioInqury” for a reason.  While I have some lab activities that I expect us to this year, and ideas of what I would like you to learn, the format for this course can be decided largely by you.  I want you each to feel tied to the subject matter, and to learn about issues in genetics that you have an inherent interest in.  My first question to you all, therefore, is what interests you most about the field of genetics?  Please take the time to reply in the comment fields below!