Thinking about genes and gene sequences by looking at bacterial plasmids (Years 10 and 11)

University of Birmingham
Wednesday 8 March 2023 (13:00-15:00)

Class capacity: 30

Year group: 10 and 11

Subject: Biology and Genetics

Attendee requirements: None

About: This masterclass will introduce students to the excitement of working with DNA. Plasmids can be some of the simplest DNA molecules, consisting of just a few genes. But they can also have high impacts in medicine and in industry.

This class will enable students to visualise plasmid DNA by gel electrophoresis but also understand its genetic make up by looking at its sequence of bases on a computer. They will load samples onto a gel at the start of the class and see the DNA moving in the electric field while they work on the computers. After learning how a section of DNA codes for a protein by watching an animated film, the pupils will search the DNA for genes and gene expression signals as well as the region that allows the plasmid to replicate itself. They will also identify the recognition sequences for the enzymes that allow us to cut the plasmid at specific places and to engineer new plasmids. Hopefully this will inspire some pupils to study Biosciences at university!

Additional information: School bookings only. Schools will be limited to 10 places for this class.

To find out more about any of the masterclasses, please email

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