Dolan DNA Learning Center – Saturday DNA programs

The Saturday DNA program at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s Dolan DNA Learning Center (334 Main Street, Cold Spring Harbor) is designed to offer children, teens and adults the opportunity to conduct hands-on DNA experiments and learn about the latest developments in the biological sciences. Each 2-hour program offers either a laboratory or multimedia experience and costs $15. Reservations are required and placement is on a first-come, first-served basis; seating is limited. Reservation forms can be downloaded at www.dnalc.org/saturday or by calling the Saturday DNA Hotline at (516) 367-5168.

Saturday, April 22, 2006
Jellyfish Genes

11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Audience: Ages 10-13, with chaperone
In this lab, students will learn about the GFP(green fluorescent protein) gene from Aequorea victoria (a Pacific jellyfish) and how it is used in molecular research. When this gene is inserted into the cells of other living things, from mice to bacteria, they produce a green fluorescent jellyfish protein that glows in UV light. Participants will:
· learn the techniques scientists use to transfer genes, and how this technology is used to further our understanding of genetics;
· isolate and purify GFPfrom a bacterial culture and keep a tube of glowing jellyfish protein!
Reservations are required

Mapping Your Way Through DNA
2:00 - 4:00 PM
Audience: Ages 14-adult, with chaperone for participants under the age of 15.
Did you ever wonder why scientists study so many different critters? You may be surprised to find out that many amazing discoveries have not come from research in humans but from research in the likes of flies and worms. Come spend a Saturday learning about the world of model organisms! Participants will:
· learn about the advantages and disadvantages of different model organisms;
· examine mutant phenotypes of several model organisms;
· discover how research in model organisms aids human research.
Reservations are required

Saturday, May 20, 2006
Bug Zappers

11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Audience: Ages 10-13, with chaperone
Humans have developed many ways to harness beneficial bacteria for food production, dietary supplements and even cleaning up oil spills, and yet, most people still associate bacteria with sickness. As a result, we have also developed many ways to rid ourselves of bacteria that may infect our food, our bodies and our homes. In this laboratory, students will:
· investigate the genetics of harmful bacteria and understand how they infect us;
· learn how various antibiotics and common household products kill bacteria;
· observe the effectiveness of various antibiotics, antiseptics and disinfectants.
Reservations are required

What’s a Stem Cell Supposed To Do?
2:00 - 4:00 PM
Audience: Ages 14-adult, with chaperone for participants under the age of 15
Stem cell research is a hot topic. Stem cells can differentiate into many different cell types. Making the right cells at the right time is critical. For instance, when stem cells start making the wrong cell types, it can lead to disease, including causing cancer. Somehow, the fate of the stem cell’s daughters must be assigned, or determined. So how do stem cells know what to make, how do stem cells go wrong and how can researchers make them do what they want? Participants will have the opportunity to:
· explore stem cell fate determination;
· learn about stem cells and disease;
· become familiar with the potential uses of human stem cells;
· discuss the ethics of stem cell therapies.
Reservations are required

Saturday, June 10, 2006
Fruit Fly Island

11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Audience: Ages 10-13, with chaperone
The fruit fly, drosophila melangaster, is used as a model organism to study mutations. If we observe external traits that are different than that of the wild type fruit flies we can infer that the gene for that specific trait has been mutated. When mutations occur that are an advantage to a species these traits will be selected over time. In this way a species will evolve. During this session participants will have an opportunity to:
· use stereomicroscopes to observe a variety of mutant fruit fly populations;
· analyze the populations for frequency of certain mutations;
· work as a team of biologists to infer why migrated populations diverged genetically from the original population.
Reservations are required


Conquering a Genetic Disease
2:00 - 4:00 PM
Audience: Ages 14-adult, with chaperone for participants under the age of 15
Curious about human disease? Ever stop to think about how genetic engineering has changed the way we treat disease? This lab is going to use Cystic Fibrosis as a model for a genetically inherited disease. In this session participants will:
· learn about the discovery of the CFTR gene;
· perform a bioinformatics analysis on the gene;
· find out how Cystic Fibrosis is inherited;
· hear about current therapies used to treat the disease.
Reservations are required
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For more information, visit www.cshl.edu.