Wheat's up

Feb. 20, 2020 | Students in Ms. Lévesque's Form VI HL IB Biology class performed a DNA extraction of wheat germ cells during this morning's lab.

As they continue their exploration of molecular biology, students are exploring DNA and how it occurs in different organisms. Although the class is only just starting their study of DNA, Ms. Lévesque chose to begin with a lab in an effort to help them gain a tangible understanding of the microscopic cellular 'blueprint'. In pairs, students were given a small amount of wheat germ and tasked with extracting the DNA from the nuclei of each wheat germ cell. The groups used warm water to break down cell membranes, dishwashing detergent to dissolve the lipid layers, and ice-cold ethyl alcohol to form a layer at the top of the mixture to precipitate out the DNA. Yewon and Lisa closely observed their beaker as the strands formed, fascinated by the abstract structure created as it precipitated.

From experiments with potatoes to their latest lab with wheat, it seems they're continuing their journey toward molecular gastronomy!

Bishop's College School is an independent English-language boarding and day school for grades 7 to 12 in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada.