In this 120-minute miniPCR Learning Lab™, you will 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 characterize bacterial strains and protect the health of astronauts.
This applied biotechnology investigation addresses a foodborne illness outbreak through the same real-world methodologies that public health and surveillance authorities use here on Earth. You’ll learn molecular microbiology techniques relevant to the STEM job market, and engage in a real-world problem with huge public health and economic impact.
This miniPCR Learning Lab™ utilizes the following molecular techniques:
- PCR (polymerase chain reaction) amplification of bacterial genes
- Restriction digest, RFLP analysis
- DNA Gel electrophoresis, staining, and visualization
- Highlights real-world applications of molecular microbiology in public health.
The miniPCR Food Safety Lab kit contains 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
Suggested skill level: Intended for any student seeking familiarity with PCR, DNA gel electrophoresis, environmental microbiology and antibiotic resistance, from middle school to college.
- These reagents require frozen storage.
- Microtubes and electrophoresis reagents sold separately
- 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.
Free miniPCR Learning Lab™ resources:
- Space Food Safety Lab Instructor’s Guide
- Space Food Safety Lab Student’s Guide
- Space Food Safety Lab Classroom Slides
- Genes in Space Food Safety Lab instructional videos
Contact team@ Southern Biological for answers key.