Combine the practice of Engineering with the teaching of Biology
- Teach enzyme kinetics and gene expression with one meaningful activity
- Teach fundamental synthetic biology concepts
- Develop microbiology and molecular biology techniques
- Analyze quantitative results
- Apply ideas to meaningful real world challenges
This lab focuses on predictable design. Students measure -galactosidase enzymatic activity of the bacterial cells to examine the role that genetic parts such as promoters and ribosome binding sites play in gene expression. Thus this activity provides an excellent way to study transcription, translation, the lac operon and enzyme function within a synthetic biology context. One kit can accommodate 6 groups of 4 students.
Ordering information: Kit Materials Include Baking soda (= sodium bicarbonate), 1x 5 tablespoons/bag; Sodium Carbonate, 1x 50g bottle; Dish soap , 1 bottle; 50 ml conical tubes w/ caps, 1x 25/package; 15 ml conical tubes w/ caps, 3x 25/package; Sterile inoculating loops, 1x 25/package; Glass 13x100mm tubes, 2x 72/box; Test tube racks , 1 box of 12 racks; 1.5 ml microfuge tubes, 3x 30/package; Disposable cuvettes, 2x 100/package; Disposable transfer pipets, 1x 40/package; Student instructions; Teacher instructions; and Coupon for perishables that can be redeemed by mail, phone, fax, or email 2 weeks in advance of when materials are needed. Perishable Materials Include:10 E.coli samples: (2-R, 2-1 through 2-9); Ampicillin, 1x 20 mg aliquot IPTG, 1 x 24 mg aliquot; ONPG, 1 x 40 mg aliquot; and LB broth, 1x 200 ml bottle. Refill Kit Materials Include:10 E.coli samples: (2-R, 2-1 through 2-9); Ampicillin, 1x 20 mg aliquot; IPTG, 1 x 24 mg aliquot; ONPG, 1 x 40 mg aliquot; and LB broth, 1x 200 ml bottle. Additional BioBuilder Materials: A well-stocked lab will have things such as timers, test tube racks, Sharpies, and ice buckets (as well as ice!). The BioBuilder labs also assume that some consumable materials are available, like pipet tips and nitrile or latex gloves. Equipment for this experiment that is not provided include an incubator with a roller wheel to grow samples at 37°C, though the protocol works at room temperature on a stir plate too.
A spectrophotometer, though turbidity standards can be used as well.