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Life Science

  • 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 »
  • Introduction to Sterile Technique In this lab, students practice transfer of a bacterial culture using sterile technique. View »
  • Biology in the Movies See how you can use movies to facilitate engaging learning experiences for your students. Each suggestion includes a brief synopsis and talking points. Here’s to making your biology lessons even better than before. View »
  • Phases of the Cell Cycle A concise take on the life cycle of a typical eukaryotic cell. 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 »
  • Bacterial Growth on MacConkey Agar In this lab students culture three bacteria on nutrient agar and MacConkey agar and record the results. View »
  • 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 »
  • Bacteria: The Citrate Test In this lab students perform a test on two different bacteria to determine whether the organisms can use citric acid as their sole carbon source. The citrate test is often performed as part of the IMViC (Indole, Methyl Red, Voges-Proskauer, and Citrate) series of tests used to differentiate common species of enteric bacteria. View »
  • Bacterial Hydrolysis of Starch In this lab, students culture two bacteria on potato dextrose agar, which contains starch. When grown on potato dextrose agar, bacteria that can secrete amylase—an enzyme that hydrolyzes starch—create a zone around their colonies in which starch is absent. When the agar is flooded with iodine solution, most of the plate stains dark blue–black, but clear areas are left around colonies that secrete amylase. View »
  • Tied Up in Protein Synthesis (or Lost in Translation): A Kinesthetic and Inquiry-Based Approach to Teaching the Central Dogma of Biology In this exercise, students tie Windsor knots to create a translation product from mRNA instructions—a protein “necktie.” Your classroom is the nucleus, and the hallway is cytoplasm. View »
  • Strawberry DNA Extraction Introduce students to DNA with this activity. A discussion of how this DNA extraction procedure works might also touch on the plant cell wall, the cell membrane, and DNA's lack of solubility in ethanol. Includes materials list and step-by-step instructions. View »
  • Infographic: Bring Your Genetics Lessons to Life with Model Organisms Carolina offers unique opportunities to work with model organisms—such as genetic corn (Zea mays), Wisconsin Fast Plants® (Brassica rapa), and fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster)—in your genetics labs. View »
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