• What is LabRATS?
     
    A two-semester course that engages students in the process of hands-on, lab-based learning to enable them to develop skills and techniques employed in scientific research.  Additionally, students will develop skills in scientific investigation and reporting (being able to write scientifically, analyze/interpret data, and present scientific findings).
     
    Students learn cutting-edge lab techniques currently used in scientific research:
    • Use micropipettes
    • Preparing lab solutions
    • Making serial dilutions
    • Aseptic technique/microbiology
    • Use a spectrophotometer
    • Use microscopes
    • Perform chromatography
    • Run horizontal (DNA) and vertical (protein) gel electrophoresis
    • Perform PCR (to amplify DNA)
    • Mini-prep analysis of DNA
    • RNAi interference
    • DNA sequencing
    Students gain hands-on experience with advanced lab equipment that includes:
    • Spectrophotometer
    • PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) machine, or thermal cycler - used in molecular biology to amplify a single or a few copies of DNA
    • Horizontal and vertical gel electrophoresis equipment - separation of macromolecules (DNA, RNA and proteins) and their fragments.
    • Column chromatography - separation and purification of pigments from mixtures.
    • Advanced microscopy - record live behavioral and developmental characteristics of organisms.
    Students will be able to work with living organisms including:
    • Daphnia magna - studying the effects of chemicals on heart rate.
    • Zebrafish - examining factors that affect embryological development.
    • Planaria - behavioral and regeneration studies