Mobile Gene Laboratory

Do you want to experience gene technology in your own classroom? The Mobile Gene Lab provides interested teachers and their classes with a practical insight into molecular biology: Under expert guidance, pupils can carry out simple experiments in gene technology themselves. The Mobile Gene Lab is an offer by the association «Research for Life», for which a small contribution is charged towards the costs.

 

With the Mobile Gene Lab, «Research for Life» has been offering its popular school visits on the subject of gene technology for some years. These visits pursue the following teaching objectives:

  • To impart and deepen knowledge of the theory behind gene technology
  • To provide a practical introduction to the basic techniques of molecular biology
  • To offer an insight into current fields of research
  • To establish a platform for questions and discussions

 

Understanding gene technology

On a project day to be agreed, simple experiments in gene technology are presented to pupils and their teachers and carried out interactively with them. These routine techniques, which are used in gene tech on a daily basis, are established, relatively easy to understand, unspectacular and nonetheless fascinating:

  • DNA isolation
  • Restriction digestion of isolated plasmid DNA
  • Agarose gel electrophoresis for the separation and visualization of DNA

 

Prerequisites

To make sure there is an intensive dialogue and meaningful examination of the subject, not more than 20–25 pupils should take part in the gene technology experiments. They can be held in English and German.

 

The pupils should have a certain basic knowledge of molecular biology to ensure the project is a success. It is essential to have some knowledge of DNA and its structure, the gene and what is meant by the genetic code and also the basic principle of how protein biosynthesis works. On request, the teachers are provided with tips on the relevant literature in order to prepare for the classes.

 

The Mobile Gene Lab and its specialist speakers are available to school classes and teachers interested. The contribution towards a half-day course is CHF 300.–. Registration is by email to info@forschung-leben.ch.

 

The team will also be happy to offer the course for any adults interested. The contribution for the group (max. 20 persons): CHF 500.– (half-day or evening).

 

Safety and responsibility

The original project “Gene technology experiments in school” was developed by Pharma Information and was registered with the SKBS (interdisciplinary Swiss Commission for Biological Safety in Research and Technology) – today known as the SECB (Swiss Expert Committee for Biosafety). Only defined safety strains and plasmids are used in the experiments shown. The SKBS expressly approved this service.

«Research for Life» bears the responsibility for the project and for the proper conduct of the gene technology experiments in schools. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

A further possibility for practical involvement in the subject of gene technology is offered by the courses of the Stationary Gene Lab, which «Research for Life» operates in collaboration with the Life Science Zurich - Learning Center (LSLC) of the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich.