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Under the Microscope

In Advanced Research in Molecular Biology, students are assessing whether their collected arthropods (insects, spiders, millipedes) are infected with Wolbachia, a bacterium that is being investigated as a potential strategy to curb diseases spread by mosquitoes.
Morgan reports that students will extract DNA from each arthropod, then use PCR to amplify a gene for arthropod identification and a gene to determine whether the arthropod is infected with Wolbachia. PCR products will be visualized using gel electrophoresis.
Through a partnership with The Wolbachia Project, hosted by the Bordenstein Lab at Penn State, students will send successfully amplified DNA products for sequencing. They can then analyze both their group and class data, create a poster to present their results, and upload their findings to The Wolbachia Project database.
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