Experimenting with Genetics

Several of the lessons learned in the classroom came to life when Babylon High School’s AP Biology class visited SUNY Stony Brook to conduct authentic genetic research projects.

The students determined restriction enzyme rates under various conditions, including pH changes and the use of heat, detergents and salt. Restriction enzymes produced by bacteria are used to cut DNA and allow for transformation of bacteria. The students then incorporated this genetic engineering technique to transfer green fluorescent and red fluorescent genes from different organisms to bacteria. Once they reproduce, those bacteria that pick up the fluorescent gene will glow under ultraviolet light.