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Grade 12 AP Biology Students Successfully Transform E. coli Bacteria with GFP Gene

Written by: Ms. Sparkman

Students in Ms. Sparkman's Grade 12 AP Biology class recently had the opportunity to participate in a university-level lab experiment, transforming non-pathogenic E. coli bacteria with a DNA plasmid containing the GFP (Green Fluorescent Protein) gene, isolated from a jellyfish. This lab is typically completed in first and second-year university courses, and the opportunity to do it in a high school setting allows students to gain valuable lab skills and hands-on experience in the field of biology.

The experiment involved inserting the GFP gene into the E. coli bacteria, which would then express the protein and cause the bacteria to fluoresce under UV light. The transformation process requires a number of important lab skills, including pipetting, sterile technique, and the ability to analyze data. With the guidance of Ms. Sparkman, the students were able to complete the experiment with great success and many glowing colonies.

Max ’23 and Rida ’23, in particular, were successful in their transformation, producing plates with bright, glowing colonies. The experiment provided an opportunity for students to learn about the importance of plasmids in genetic engineering, as well as the significance of GFP in biological research.

Participating in lab experiments like this one provides students with a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience and develop important skills that will serve them well in future academic and career pursuits. It also helps to generate a love for science and the excitement that comes with discovery. The success of this experiment is a testament to the dedication and hard work of Ms. Sparkman's students, and we look forward to seeing what scientific discoveries they will make in the future.
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4391 County Road 29, Lakefield Ontario K0L 2H0   705.652.3324   admissions@lcs.on.ca


Lakefield College School is a private, coeducational boarding and day school for students in grades 9 through 12, located in Lakefield, Ontario, Canada.

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