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The Scienteens Lab goes international

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Published on Thursday, 23 March 2017

Last week a class from the US Army Garrison (USAG) in Stuttgart visited the Scienteens Lab. 26 high school students accompanied by two teachers spent two days on Campus Belval to participate in the biology workshop “DNA on the tanning bed”.

To investigate the effect of UV light on the DNA of the bacterium Escherichia coli, the students
first learnt to extract and amplify genetic material. They had the opportunity to discover Polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a technique used to duplicate a fragment of DNA several
times. During the afternoon, the class then worked on cell culture and did some hands-on experiments with E. coli colonies, sunscreen and UV light.

The next day the students tried their hand at agarose gel electrophoresis, another technique commonly used in laboratories, to separate DNA fragments and estimate the effect of UV light
on bacterium. They also assessed the impact on the growth of the colonies by counting the cells. Their results were analysed and critically discussed within the group at the end of the two lab days.


After swapping lab coats and gloves for sneakers and sunglasses, students and teachers enjoyed some sightseeing as well. They went for a walk around the city, from Place d’Armes to Place Guillaume II via the Corniche and the old town. A well-deserved break and another kind of discovery between two visits to the lab.