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An Alu element is a short stretch of DNA originally characterized by the action of the Arthrobacter luteus (Alu) restriction endonuclease (attend our Episode I DNA Cutting workshop to learn more about restriction enzymes. Alu elements are the most abundant transposable elements, containing over one million copies dispersed throughout the human genome. They are derived from the small cytoplasmic 7SL RNA, a component of the signal recognition particle. Alu insertions have been implicated in several inherited human diseases and in various forms of cancer. The study of Alu elements has also been important in elucidating human population genetics and the evolution of primates, including the evolution of humans.
Have you ever wondered what goes on in a CSI lab when a DNA fingerprint is retrieved from a crime scene or in a genetics lab where samples are analyzed for a genetic trait? Here is your chance to learn more about the powerful technology of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and its applications towards human DNA fingerprinting!
This workshop aims to give you hands on experience going through the components of the PCR reaction, including a brief introduction to the field of biotechnology, and how it works to solve real problems.
You will learn the fundamental basis of molecular biology on which this technology was developed, how each reaction progresses, and the developments that make the reaction used today what it is, as well as how to interpret data, and draw reasonable conclusions from a simplified PCR experiment using the Alu repeat sequences found in every person’s DNA. What is your genotype? How can you use PCR to explore the DNA world around you?
Your host, Ian Lee, a member of the Open Science Network and a student with the Joint UBC/BCIT Honors Program in Biotechnology, has been tinkering in the lab to bring you this workshop. This will likely be a once off workshop.