Experimenting experience

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Experimenting experience

Men in White Coats

The ’Great Bideford Bake-off’ has been sabotaged! Twelve Lower Fifth pupils joined the world-class scientists from the University of Exeter and Medical School to try to identify the perpetrator of the crime resulting in bread not rising.

Their task involved studying yeast samples obtained from three super villain suspects, infamous in using genetic technology to manipulate their microbes. Pupils learnt about, and had hands-on experience of: using PCR to amplify DNA samples from the yeast, gel electrophoresis to separate DNA fragments, microscopy techniques as well as methods of monitoring blood sugar levels, blood pressure and pulse rate.

Phoebe Jerreat said it was a very interesting and enjoyable trip.

“I really enjoyed using all the equipment in the laboratories,” she said.

“Looking at yeast through a microscope was really fun as we had a chance to use the very high quality microscopes. Overall I really enjoyed the afternoon.”

Alex James liked learning about and seeing the machines that measure blood pressure.

Bertie Fordham said the DNA extraction and separation was the best bit.

Head of Biology Julia Metcalf said it was a fun and informative afternoon of real science, in real research labs.

“Thank you to Exeter University and Medical School for running the event,” she said.