Research Project Year:
Research Project Title:
Research Project Description:
In this project I worked with Dr. Kevin Solomon in the department of Chemical Engineering. The goal of my project was to molecularly clone a cellulase from the fungus P. finn and insert in the bacteria E. coli. Cellulases are enzymes that break down complex plant biomass into fermentable sugars. These sugars serve as feed stocks for microbial processes that generate a wide array of compounds including fuels, medicines, and bulk chemicals that form the majority of the items that we use as a society. The cellulases that we cloned from P. finn have the ability to break down a larger percentage of biomass than traditional methods of biofuel creation. The creation of this engineered bacteria will lead to further research into the regulation of microbial enzymes.
In completing this project we used the tools of molecular cloning, including gel electrophoresis, restriction digests, polymerase chain reactions (PCR), colorimetric assays, and microbiological techniques.
Research Project Attachments:
|Summer 2013 mcotich.pdf||2.88 MB|
Curriculum Project Year:
Curriculum Project Title:
Curriculum Project Description:
This portfolio includes four inquiry-based modules that focus on synthetic biology: “What is Synthetic Biology”, “Breaking it Down”, “Putting it Back Together” and “Genetic Engineering Ethics”. The modules are designed in succession to allow students to build on prior knowledge, and compile it with new concepts to culminate in a synthetic biology simulation in the third module. The final module is a debate in which they will form their own opinions about how the scientific community should move forward with regulating the field of synthetic biology. Each module is closely tied to Next Generation Science Standards for seventh grade life science, and also to Common Core reading, writing, and speaking and listening standards. There is an emphasis on incorporating informational texts, and technical writing of lab protocol. Modules one, three and four go beyond your typical life science curriculum, aiming to provide students with opportunities to apply their knowledge of the basics of genetics to cutting edge science and ethics. The four modules provide collaborative discussions, hands-on activities and labs, pose critical questions and require logical reasoning and analysis. After participating this unit, students will have a much deeper understanding of biological processes, and how scientists are using this information to solve complex problems improving society as a whole.