Try The BioLab

Try The BioLab are Hands-on activities routinely running in CusMiBio Labs.

The approach is authentically IBSE: students and teachers experiment together scientific practice in a university setting, discussing and critiquing procedures and results with professionals (tutors &post-docs).

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Topics of the laboratory activities:
DNA profiling, a DNA analysis performed to obtain molecular identikits, i.e. for human genotypic identification.
Healthy or affected?, a simulation of genetic counseling and prenatal diagnosis of genetic diseases by means of RFLP (Restriction Fragments Length Polymorphism) analysis.
DNA cloning: white or blue? recombinant or not?, two genetic engeneering activities on DNA cloning in bacterial cells and on the identification of recombinant DNA molecules.
Chromosome analysis, optical microscope observation to compare human and mouse metaphase chromosomes; cytogenetic analysis of human normal and pathological karyotypes.
SOS environment, a reporter gene in transgenic plants (Arabidopsis thaliana) becomes an environmental bioindicator able to detect the presence of heavy metals in soil.
Food tracing: an analysis of a mitochondrial gene, cytochrome b, to identify the species present in a meat sample.
Protein analysis, protein electrophoresis and Western Blotting to monitor the presence of a specific protein expressed in response to cellular stress.
Genetically Modified Organisms, what, how and why, analysis of corn flour to detect the Bt transgene from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, coding for a protein which confers the GM plant protection against most insects pests.
Molecular markers in corn, on Mendelian segregation of R gene, which regulates anthocyanin pathway in several tissues. Practically, students at school grow and observe R gene phenotypes of a F2 seedlings’ population. In Cus-Mi-Bio laboratories they extract DNA from single seedlings, run PCR and verify the R gene segregation at the molecular level.
Yeast as a honorary mammal, to observe cell division and proliferation in the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae, to understand some of the molecular mechanisms underlying these complex biological processes.

DNA barcoding, a bioinformatics activity to indentify an organism with a DNA sequence that uniquely identifies each species of living thing.
Surfing among genomes, a bioinformatics module to discover how scientists use genetic information in databases and to become familiar with the main tools available online to ask (and answer) questions about the human genome.
Gene Hunting, online searching for genes, proteins and mutations associated with genetic disorders (cystic fibrosis, familial breast cancer, Pax-6&aniridia).
The invisible forms, lysozyme crystals can be obtained in short time and observed at light microscope; in a parallel bioinformatic module, students visit one of the major protein 3D structure database and experiment how 3D models of proteins are used to design molecules of medical relevance.