Way to Glow Biology!

Way to Glow Biology!

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By Alyssa Matheson

One group’s experiment. The ‘empty’ petri dish at the top has bacteria without the glowing gene.

It’s not every day that students get the chance to become genetic engineers; however, on November 4th, two grade twelve biology classes travelled to the Ontario Science Centre to do just that.


The students split into two groups; the first explored the science centre before going to the lab, while the other got right down to business. After suiting up in lab coats, goggles, and gloves, the students followed precise instructions to mix the plasmids (small loops of DNA) from jellyfish into cells from a colony of bacteria.


Because the DNA was taken from a bioluminescent jellyfish, the process resulted in glowing bacteria! Cathleen McRitchie, a student in Mr. Cates’ biology class, said, “The lab was an amazing experience, and I’m so glad we had an opportunity to try a field of science that we can’t really test in the labs at school.”


Although many may say that biology is “the easiest science,” genetic engineering shows that it is also one of the coolest.



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