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I'm a TA for an Intro to Biology course. Are there any small scale, simple experiments I could do to get them excited? Answered

I'm a TA for an Intro to Biology course. I always make Oobleck to get them excited on the first day. Are there any other small scale, simple experiments I could do to get them excited? Thanks!

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NobodyInParticular (author)2009-07-27

Gene engineering! You can buy kits that will allow students to transform E coli bacteria with plasmids containing a gene from fluorescent jellyfish (GFP). While bacterial colonies that glow under UV light might not be the most dramatic sight, nothing beats being able to tell your friends "I genetically engineered an unnatural glowing creature in class today!"

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user

Awesome suggestion - how long does that reaction take?

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user

The bacteria need to be incubated overnight. You should be able to finish the project in two class periods if the students have completed the background and methods sections of their lab reports ahead of time.

http://www.google.com/search?q=pGLO+transformation+lab

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Sandisk1duo (author)2009-07-28
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frollard (author)Sandisk1duo2009-07-28

Hardly a biological reaction :S

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Sandisk1duo (author)frollard2009-07-29

but a reaction none the less!

for a biological reaction...
get hydrogen peroxide, chicken liver, raw potato, and a cooked potato

pour some hydrogen peroxide in a petrei spelled it wrong, i know dish, then put a piece of chicken liver in the dish, it will start breaking down the hydrogen peroxide, do the same for the cooked and raw potato

have your students record what broke down hydrogen peroxide the fastest, and why it did that

chicken liver, and potatoes have an enzyme that breaks down the hydrogen peroxide, if you destroy the enzyme (by cooking it) it won't do anything

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frollard (author)2009-07-27

algae farm? ant farm? algae ant farm?

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