We are so grateful that even in times of pandemic, hands-on laboratory science remains an integral part of our science curriculum at Yeshiva University High School for Girls. This week, two of our science classes engaged in hands-on biotechnology laboratory experiments at a full-day visit to the Dolan DNA Learning Center at Cold Spring Harbor.

Students in Mrs. Ruth Fried’s AP Biology class and Mrs. Shulamith Biderman’s Forensics course completed rounds of restriction enzyme analysis and bacterial transformation. Restriction enzyme analysis, a technique for comparing differently sized particles of DNA, was used to separate DNA fragments based on size and electrical charge. Bacterial Transformation is a technique by which students insert a novel piece of DNA into bacteria, enabling it to synthesize new proteins. For their particular lab, our students inserted an antibiotic-resistant gene for ampicillin, tagged with a green-fluorescent protein gene from a jellyfish, to develop transformed bacteria that could grow on an ampicillin-laced medium while glowing fluorescent green.

A fun time was had by all, as summarized by 12th grade AP Biology student Rebecca Silvera of Woodmere, New York:

“I loved the experience of going outside of school to take part in a fun and interesting lab. I learned how to use a lot of new apparatus, and it was so cool to apply the concepts I was learning in class to hands-on experiments as I was learning them. It was so special to be the first ones the DNA learning center has allowed in to study since the pandemic.”