Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Technology in the Lab

As science and technology progress, not only is technology being used for research in the forms of computers and Ipads, but machines are being used to help perform tests in a scientific lab. Being a biology major I use a variety of fancy machines to run tests in the lab. Having the technology to run these tests help us learn processes that scientists use in the real world and understand  certain concepts.

We recently were given a mystery bacteria microbial and had to run special tests on it to determine the identity of the  bacteria microbe. We would isolate the DNA and run various gel electrophoresis tests on the DNA. Gel electrophoresis is a machine that is able to show us the bands and base pair amounts in DNA. DNA is very small and cannot be seen by the naked eye. Being able to run it down a gel and amplify the amount of DNA can teach us a lot about DNA and its makeup in humans and other organisms. After amplifying the amount of DNA we can also run it through a sequencer and figure out the genome of the DNA.  The sequencer uses markers on the DNA to figure out which nucleotides come where in the sequence of DNA. We can take the sequence and run it through an online database to see what organisms our sequence would best fit. This teaches us what organism we are dealing with and in our case, which bacterial microbe we were dealing with. 

Another lab we conducted dealt with running protein gels to identify traits that our proteins portray. In gels we use ethidium bromide which can be put into another machine that  uses UV light technology to show us different traits about our DNA and proteins.  

The use of  these machines  teaches us about the greater details of how organisms are composed. This information can be used in many different fields of study  to help learn about organisms. In our lab, we are learning the  basics of  science, but this information can be used in much more detail and to learn much more in the scientific world. Science is always growing. Special machines are used to promote learning in  the field and all the information we learn from science can be used to promote future technology and education about the world we live in.

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