Science Brainwaves in collaboration with the University of Sheffield and the ASDC (The UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres), supported by the Wellcome Trust, has recently obtained funding and support to put in-place a brand new post-16 workshop – ‘A Question of Taste’(http://www.sciencecentres.org.uk/projects/handsondna).
This fascinating workshop was developed as part of a programme of educational projects celebrating the bicentenary of Darwin’s birth, and 150 years since the publication of his most famous work, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. Science Brainwaves and The University of Sheffield are proud to be the only centre within Yorkshire to be able to offer this research-based experiment using cutting edge equipment and the latest molecular techniques.
During this one-day workshop, students are able to explore the evolution of an unusual human trait where some people can taste a bitter chemical, whilst others cannot. Students use molecular biology techniques (DNA extraction, Polymerase Chain Reaction, restriction digestion and gel electrophoresis) to test their own DNA to compare their ability to taste a bitter chemical to the allele (version) of the responsible taste receptor gene. This workshop allows exploration of some big question about evolution; are there differences in between the DNA of people that can taste the chemical and those that can’t? Why have we evolved these different responses? Does being able to taste or not taste the bitter chemical offer an evolutionary advantage?
The workshop is hosted either within the University of Sheffield laboratories (Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Firth Court) or at Weston Park Museum, using state of the art equipment. The workshop is facilitated by experts from the University of Sheffield and Science Brainwaves. The learning outcomes from this workshop are comprehensive and all material covered is fully curriculum linked, for more details please see here.
For more information and booking enquiries please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.