Genetic engineering at the University of Kent
A group of A-level biologists and some keen Middle Fifth pupils ventured to the University of Kent with Mr Mount to conduct their own genetic engineering experiments. They were introduced to Dr Von de Haar who put them in pairs and gave them a task: Force E. coli bacteria to take up foreign DNA from a jellyfish to make it glow.
The bacteria was put through a series of hot and cold shocks that created pores in its wall, forcing it to take in a plasmid vector containing a GFP (green fluorescent protein) gene. This protein would make it glow under ultraviolet light. Although the chances of the bacteria taking in the DNA were slim, one pair was successful.
It was an eye-opening experience into the world of genetic engineering and into University research. Seeing the bacteria fluoresce rewarding was awe-inspiring.
If you ever get the chance to do this, I would thoroughly recommend it.
Lily Pickles, Middle Fifth pupil