Entries by miniPCR Team

P51™ Lighting up Chlorophyll

Add some fluorescent spice to your old leaf chromatography lab. If you teach or learn biology, you have likely performed some version of leaf chromatography. In its best form, leaf chromatography can clearly separate the distinct pigments that give leaves their color. In its more common classroom variation, leaf chromatography shows a smudge of green […]

Building inquiry into a Learning Lab

P51™ Glow enzyme lab lights up NGSS and AP Biology Standards. If you are at all familiar with AP Biology curriculum, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), or just science teaching best practices, you know that inquiry is the way to go. Students learn material best when they struggle to reach answers, and in the process, […]

Taking Mendel Molecular with PCR, Gel Electrophoresis and Wisconsin Fast Plants®

Wisconsin Fast Plants® have been a staple of Biology classrooms for decades. With short generation times, high productivity, and many distinct visual phenotypes, generations of students have used Fast Plants® to study a variety of topics ranging from Mendelian genetics, to artificial selection, to energy flow through ecosystems. But as molecular techniques such as PCR […]

Publication announcement: New Genes in Space Study in PLOS ONE

Genes in Space research has been published, again! The experiment designed by Alia Almansoori, winner of the first international Genes in Space Contest, was published today in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE. Harvard scientist Dr. Tessa Montague and the Genes in Space team mentored Alia through the design, execution, and interpretation of her experiment. In addition to watching […]

“If an astronaut can do this, anyone can!”

“I love the simplicity of minPCR…after all, if astronauts can do this, anyone can!!  Astronauts are not typically molecular biologists.  Right?” — Brenda Bott. Coordinator/Teacher. Shawnee Mission School District Biotechnology Signature Program. Center for Academic Achievement. Indeed, Brenda! Astronauts are multi-talented jacks of all trades, but rarely are they masters of molecular biology — notable exceptions include US astronauts Dr. Peggy […]

PCR comparative analysis of malaria detection using miniPCR

PCR comparative analysis of P. falciparum polymorphic marker MSP 2 using miniPCRTM, Eppendorf Lightcycler and MJ Thermocycler 1,2Oguzie Judith, 1,2Ajogbasile Fehintola, 1,2Uwanibe Jessica, 1Eromon Philomena, 1,2Onikepe Folarin, 1,2Christian Happi*. 1African Center of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases, 2Department of Biological Sciences, Redeemer’s University, Ede, Osun State, Nigeria Plasmodium falciparum, the most dangerous malaria parasite […]

Scientific Outreach in Haiti

— Guest post by Bertina Telusma, MIT Biology Department. A purpose-led life is a blessed life. This model has shaped my adolescent years onward. Early on in my life, I gained the awareness that life fulfilment depended on contributing to something larger than oneself. This sentiment is mostly rooted from my childhood experiences living in the […]

miniPCR at the International Space University

Dr. Reut Sorek-Abramovich, an astrobiologist and research fellow at the The Dead-Sea and Arava Science Center (DSASC), Israel, has presented students from the International Space University (ISU) participating in SSP18 in Delft, the Netherlands, with a specific tailored astrobiology workshop. The workshop was designed to give the participants hands on experience with DNA extraction and […]

Know Your Honey, Honey: Using PCR to Confirm Floral Source in Honey

— Guest post by Mike Stiff, Ph.D., and undergraduate student Hannah Aaron. A Sweet Research Interest Undergraduate researcher Hannah Aaron is fascinated by honey. Her interest began when her family looked into keeping bees when she was a student at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, NC. She learned about many uses for the delicious sweetener, including […]

Molecular Ecology in the Austrian Alps

At the University of Innsbruck in Austria, undergraduate biology students are gaining hands-on molecular field experience in the Alps.  Professor Birgit Schlick-Steiner, head of the Molecular Ecology research group, leads 120 students every summer in a practical application of molecular ecology, part of a four-day program training the students in eight different areas of biology. Professor […]