At the cutting edge of medical research

A visiting lecturer in neuroscience at King’s College London put Year 13 biologists through their paces when she visited the School.

Dr Elizabeth Glennon, whose research into Alzheimer’s disease involves the study of mutated proteins in nerve transport systems, came to QE for its Gene Technology Day.

The Sixth-Formers first prepared circular samples of DNA (plasmids) that had antibiotic resistance markers in them. These were amplified using the School’s PCR (polymerase chain reaction) machine and were used to transform bacteria.

""The bacteria were then grown on agar containing the antibiotic ampicillin. Only bacterial colonies that had taken up the plasmids were able to grow in the petri dishes.

"The boys very much enjoyed the opportunity to experience modern genetic technology in action in their own classroom. It gave them a valuable insight into some of the techniques used in biomedical science," said Biology teacher Martin Bassett-Jones.