30th January, 2015
On 28 January all the Upper Sixth Biologists spent a day carrying out advanced genetics procedures such as extracting DNA, PCR, electrophoresis and genetic finger-printing. The students found this stimulating and it tied in perfectly with the A2 course. The A2 course required us to teach some advanced genetics techniques and we purchased some gel electrophoresis kit and a PCR thermo cycler which enhanced the teaching of this topic tremendously. Currently, we are the only School in Scotland which is equipped for senior school aged pupils to carry out PCR and genetic fingerprinting (both activities that are usually only encountered by students at University). Our technician, Andrew Ross, is also very experienced in setting up genetics experiments with his long career at the MRC in Edinburgh. We carried out a DNA workshop in the Lent term where the students extracted their own mitochondrial DNA and made a genetic finger print. It worked perfectly and the boys were really inspired and enjoyed it.