Unit 3/4 Biology Excursion

On Thursday 1 August the Unit 3/4 Biology class set out for the School of Botany in the University of Melbourne to further our understanding on the tools and techniques used by molecular biologists.

The day started with plenty of excitement in the sky lab in the Natural Philosophy Building. We were assigned to groups and performed Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and Gel Electrophoresis on genetically modified Arabidopsis Thaliana and mutant Arabidopsis Thaliana plants.

Our group leaders from the University, Jacinta, Seraphy, Jason and Todd helped to reinforce our knowledge on DNA before running through the steps involved in PCR and gel electrophoresis. They were very encouraging.

Lunch time was very eventful. Besides the fact that I got lost at least 5 times, it was a revitalising experience. Seeing all those Melbourne University students with freedom written all over their faces made me feel ever closer to adulthood. In fairness, I have never felt freer.

The second session was dedicated to studying cell division and mutations. The highlight of the second session was using the high power dissection microscopes. At the end of the session we decided to put our phones to the microscope and take photos. To our amazement we were able to take very clear photos.

The day ended with the cohort thanking the School of Botany staff for their time and effort. It was most definitely a trip to remember.

Mario Noyair A4