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Synthetic Biology Research Techniques and Topic Ideas

After lunch, everyone attended a discussion on lab methods and practices. Workshop organizers demonstrated how to use the GCAT catalog, share DNA parts online, and use “wikis” so that participants could become familiar with the skills necessary to carry out their research. Partners then returned to the wet-lab and proceeded to practice more hands on techniques.

Biologist Theresa Grana (right) is pleased with the results of her electrophoresis gel run on the DNA sample amplified in Thursday’s PCR reaction.

Participants also performed a ligation and transformation before moving forward to conjure up synthetic biology project topics they can carry back and share with their undergraduates.

“Thinking up projects is a struggle because you have to take scope into consideration. We want to come up with a project that is feasible and that our undergraduates can do but also we want it to be hip, it needs to interest them” said computer scientist Jeff Matocha. He and his partner Nathan Reyna, are pictured left.

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