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Life Science

  • Studying Genomes in the Madagascar Forest Using miniPCR® When it’s difficult to bring DNA samples to a lab, why not bring the lab to the samples? Find out how a portable thermal cycler is changing the way a biological anthropologist performs her research. View »
  • Debunking the 4° C Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Myth Do samples need to be refrigerated immediately after PCR? No. You can leave them at room temperature overnight—and much longer! The founders of miniPCR® explore why. View »
  • Introduction to Prokaryotes: Cyanobacteria In this lab students observe two examples of cyanobacteria and make a simple comparison to a eukaryotic green alga. View »
  • Meet the 12-Spotted Lady Beetle Explore the fascinating life cycle of the lady beetle with the help of this infographic. View »
  • Butterfly Necklace Use this activity to give students an understanding of the life cycle of the painted lady butterfly. Includes materials list and step-by-step instructions. View »
  • Bees at School Bradley James, co-owner of Beepods, explains the benefits of keeping bees at school. Learn about the buzz, and why bees are the perfect organism to engage students and promote hands-on learning. View »
  • Bacterial Motility In this lab, students perform two exercises that investigate microbial motility. One is on a microscopic level, using the “hanging drop” slide preparation method to directly observe motile cells. The second exercise is on a macroscopic level and involves inoculating motility test media. View »
  • How Do They Hiss? and Other Madagascar Hissing Cockroach Questions Answered The Madagascar hissing cockroach is one of the most widely recognized exotic insects because of its large size and dynamic behavior. Read on to learn more about it . . . View »
  • Introduction to Prokaryotes: Bacteria What are bacteria? In this introductory lab students make smears of bacteria on microscope slides from pure cultures, perform a simple stain, and observe their stained slides under a microscope View »
  • Bacterial Hydrolysis of Casein In this lab, students culture two bacteria on skim milk agar. The protein casein gives milk its white color. Some bacteria secrete protease enzymes that can hydrolyze casein. When these bacteria are grown on skim milk agar a clear area develops around the colonies, indicating that casein has been hydrolyzed into its component amino acids. View »
  • Introduction to Sterile Technique In this lab, students practice transfer of a bacterial culture using sterile technique. View »
  • Bacteria: The Indole Test In this lab students perform a differential test to distinguish bacteria based on the production of indole. Bacteria are grown on media containing tryptophan and then treated with Kovac’s reagent. If they possess the enzyme tryptophanase, the bacteria can metabolize tryptophan into indole, pyruvic acid, and ammonia. View »
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