Thursday, March 29, 2012

Synthetic Biology Science Fair Project

I am excited to share this blog written by some of our 7th graders for the science fair! I am so proud of the amazing experiments that they are doing and look for more information about our school-wide science fair on April 20 and the Jewish Day School Science Expo on April 29.  Both events will feature the amazing work that our our students are doing this year in Science!

Marc Medwed, Head of School

by Emily, Sarah, Josh and Aaron
As students of the 7th grade at Kehillah Schechter Academy, we are participating in the school science fair.  This year, our grade’s topic is “Bacteriology in the 21st century”.  Our two science fair groups, consisting of Joshua, Aaron, Emily, Sarah, Mira, Leah, Erez and Jerry did a project on synthetic biology.  Synthetic biology is about engineering and redesigning biological systems to construct or produce new functions.
Our specific project is genetically engineered bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics and bioluminescent. We asked if we can reverse the ability of the DNA to bio luminesce by mutating it, using UV irradiation.  We transformed bacteria with DNA that was either not treated (control) or exposed to UV irradiation. Transformation means, making bacteria permeable so they can uptake foreign DNA. When the bioluminescent bacteria were exposed to a handheld UV light in the dark, we could see all of the different bacteria colonies light up (A- look below).  Bacteria that were transformed UV irradiated DNA did not glow (B-see below). We thoroughly enjoyed our science fair experiment, and we were extremely happy with our results.

Figure A - Control                                
Figure B – UV irradiated DNA

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