Description: Help astronauts control an outbreak of pathogenic bacteria in space food bound for Mars!
Students help the International Space Agency control an outbreak of pathogenic bacteria in space food bound for Mars! Learn how to use miniPCR™(the PCR machine aboard the International Space Station), restriction analysis, and DNA gel electrophoresis to characterise bacterial strains and protect the health of astronauts.
Key info and benefits:
- Techniques: Micropipetting, PCR, restriction digest, gel electrophoresis, staining, and visualisation
- Time required: 120 minutes
- Suggested skill level: High school
- Highlights real-world applications of molecular microbiology in public health.
- Reagents for 8 lab groups of 4 students:
- 2X EZ PCR Master Mix, Load-Ready™
- 3X Food Safety Lab Primer Mix
- 4 DNA samples to investigate, including controls
- Restriction enzyme XmnI
- 100 bp DNA ladder, Load-Ready™
- Reagents are compatible with minipcr, blueGel or other standard PCR and DNA electrophoresis systems
- See notes for extra requirements
- DNA samples require frozen storage, which will keep them stable for 12 months. The DNA samples are stable for a couple of weeks at room temperature, and the master mix for several days.
- Refer to the resources tab for the lab teacher's guide and student guide. Contact team @ Southern Biological for answers key.
- To perform this lab, you will require electrophoresis equipment; such as electrophoresis chamber, agarose, TBE buffer and Midori green gel stain. Our electrophoresis starter kit contains some of the hardware and reagents required. Additionally, you will require a thermal cycler. We recommend the mini8 thermal cycler or the mini16 thermal cycler plus PCR vials, a 0.5-10uL micropipette and tips.
- For best results, we recommend running your gels in the blueGel electrophoresis chamber, G40.04 . If you do not have a blueGel electrophoresis unit with built-in illuminator, we have a transilluminator, G40.76, onto which you can place your gels to visualise your results immediately after the electrophoresis run is complete.
- None of the materials provided in the Food Safety laboratory kit pose a health or food safety hazard. At no point are pathogenic bacteria used; references to “pathogenic” and “non-pathogenic” strains or DNA samples are used only to recreate a simulated Food Safety investigation scenario.