Bio-Rad Launches the Science of Opioid Dependence Kit to Help Students Learn about Genetics by Studying Factors Influencing Opioid Dependence


Bio-Rad Introduces the Science of Opioid Dependence Kit

The Simple Hands-On Kit Helps Educators Teach Complex Genetics in the Context of the Current Opioid Crisis

HERCULES, Calif. — September 19, 2019 — Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb), a global leader of life science research and clinical diagnostic products, today announced the launch of the Science of Opioid Dependence Kit, offering high school and undergraduate educators a simple hands-on DNA electrophoresis activity to teach complex genetics in the context of the opioid crisis.

The pre-amplified and predigested samples in the kit help educators who face limited resources teach PCR and restriction digestion to their students without the need for an expensive thermal cycler or the additional time required for sample processing. This kit, the latest addition to the Bio-Rad Explorer Program educational portfolio of kits, is an entry-level bridge between DNA electrophoresis and PCR and provides a new option for teaching genetics.

The Science of Opioid Dependence Kit lets students design elements of a human genetic research study to investigate potential genetic links to opioid dependence. A number of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are implicated in susceptibility to opioid dependence and students analyze a particular SNP during this investigation. Students also explore the neurobiology of reward pathways and opioid dependence and consider environmental factors that contribute to dependence.

The kit guides students through the process of creating an outline for a genetic research study. This activity is followed by a laboratory investigation of pre-amplified simulated patient DNA samples via gel electrophoresis. At the end of the investigation, students use statistical analysis tools to make conclusions about the correlation between the SNP and opioid dependence.

Key Benefits

  • Teaches students the value of genetic research in the context of the current opioid crisis
  • Uses simulated pre-amplified, predigested DNA samples to eliminate the need for a thermal cycler to perform the experiment, reducing overall cost for the activity
  • Aligns to AP Biology standards with the kit’s genetics and neurobiology content
  • Offers simple hands-on DNA electrophoresis that is fast and easy

Visit for more information about the Science of Opioid Dependence Kit.

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About the Bio-Rad Explorer Program

For over two decades, the Bio-Rad Explorer Program has supported teachers in their quest to spark their students' interest in life sciences by offering innovative and engaging hands-on activities that connect concepts with techniques in the context of real-world scenarios. The inquiry-based kits integrate multiple core content subjects into a single lab or a multiweek course to teach students about a variety of life science topics, including DNA, disease, proteomics, ecosystems, green fluorescent protein, and much more. Please visit to learn more about the Bio-Rad Explorer Program.

About Bio-Rad

Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb) is a global leader in developing, manufacturing, and marketing a broad range of innovative products for the life science research and clinical diagnostic markets. With a focus on quality and customer service for over 65 years, our products advance the discovery process and improve healthcare. Our customers are university and research institutions, hospitals, public health and commercial laboratories, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, as well as applied laboratories that include food safety and environmental quality. Founded in 1952, Bio-Rad is based in Hercules, California, and has a global network of operations with more than 8,000 employees worldwide. Bio-Rad had revenues exceeding $2.2 billion in 2018. For more information, please visit

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Press Contact:

Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc.
Bryony Ruegg, Director, Bio-Rad Explorer Program