The Secrets of the Rainforest™ Kit provides a biotechnology curriculum that takes students on an adventure starting in the rainforest in the Andes, continuing to a biotechnology company engaged in developing new pharmaceutical compounds, and finally to the Food and Drug Administration.
Features and Benefits
- Applies the principles of DNA restriction analysis, bacterial transformation, and protein purification
- Introduces your students to the world of commercial biotechnology
With this kit, students are able to:
- Grow a bacterial library
- Clone a gene of interest in bacteria
- Express a protein of interest in bacteria
- Purify a protein of interest from bacteria
- Simulate taking a protein to market
How It Works
In the hands-on portion of the exercise, students streak out the bacterial library, grow the bacteria, and select the colonies that have acquired the green glowing trait from a background of nonglowing bacteria. A culture of bacteria is grown to scale up production of the green glowing protein, which is then purified by column chromatography. The actual source of this fluorescent protein is the bioluminescent jellyfish Aequorea victoria.
This practical activity is followed by dry-lab lessons in which the purified green protein is put through the drug discovery process. This includes learning about Food and Drug Administration regulations, animal testing, marketing practices for introducing a new drug, financing, ethical issues, and student presentations. Students examine the needs and viewpoints of advocacy groups, the biotechnology industry, and the FDA. They consider ethical, economic, social, and practical issues, and develop possible strategies for what they feel are the best outcomes.
- Four-session laboratory activity, 45 min per session
- Provides sufficient materials for eight student workstations, up to four students per workstation