Build-a-BUG III: How to Clone a Gene

Mar 1, 2014 · Baltimore, United States of America

The 3rd of this 5 session course, walking you through the various ways in which genes can be isolated and cloned into bacteria and yeast, providing you with a foundation on the techniques of synthetic biology.   

The lab project portion of the course will entail isolation and cloning of the gene encoding the Taq polymerase protein, and you will go home with the skills to make your own Taq polymerase, the enzyme at the heart of PCR.

In the first session, we discussed the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), introducing primer design using online resources, and have successfully  isolated DNA from some thermus aquaticus that was grown up in the incubator.   We have gone through the process of cloning the taq polymerase gene using PCR.  In this session we will be checking the products using gel electrophoresis, and getting to some purification processes.   In future sessions we will learn how to ligate ("splice")  DNA and create recombinant DNA molecules, how to transform bacteria and identify those that contain your recombinant DNA, and lastly how to assay your recombinant molecule for activity. 

These five sessions are designed to give a good survey of synthetic biology techniques while doing an interesting project.   While we encourage you to take all of the sessions, each session can stand on its own.  You do not need to go to all five sessions to enjoy the experience.  There are no prerequisites except interest!

Sessions are all on Saturdays at 10:00 am to about 1:00 pm, on March 1, March 15th, and March 22


Please feel free to email us with questions at

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