The science department are currently benefiting from lab grade Biotechnology equipment on loan from Amgen. This is a scheme we have benefitted from as a sixth form for the past four years and has become a popular annual event.

The year 13 Biologists have been producing recombinant plasmids and transgenic bacteria expressing red fluorescent jellyfish protein, so should be seeing some glowing bacteria on their plates within the next few days. This involves genetically engineering bacteria by inserting a gene from a jellyfish that enables them to fluoresce. This requires the students to use a variety of Biotechnological methods which they have been learning about in class and gives them some practical experience of these procedures.

Our year 12 Biologists have also benefited from this equipment as they have been analysing their own DNA to reveal their own genotype and the presence or absence of an ‘Alu’ sequence within the intron of a gene for tissue Plasminogen Activator. This means Biology students at Sheringham Sixth Form get a practical experience of this laboratory grade equipment over several lessons and this gives them a unique experience that they have learned from and enjoyed.

Many thanks go to Amgen, the John Innes Centre and the TSN (Teacher Scientist Network) for the lending of the equipment and to Mr Stocker (science technician) and Mrs Philpott (A-level Biology teacher) for the many hours they have spent planning and preparing this event.

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Posted on: 16th March 2016