Course 2: Your First GMO

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Course Description

Creating a GMO is as easy as cooking an egg. In this project we will produce simple transgenic organisms by transforming plasmids, tiny circles of DNA, into live E. coli bacteria. The resulting microbes are useful mainly as a DNA factory, growing and replicating more DNA for us to extract and manipulate in the lab. This same technique will allow us to introduce small genetic devices into bacteria quickly and cheaply.

Goals for this Course

  • To introduce plasmids as a tool for carrying DNA into cells.
  • To demonstrate lab protocols for moving DNA around bacteria.

Course Curriculum

  • Introduction 

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  • Unit 1: Meet the Plasmids 

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    • The Parts of a Plasmid
    • A Digital Plasmid in Sequence Editor Software
    • Plasmid Quiz
  • Unit 2: Transformations 

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    • How to Make Chemically Competent E. coli
    • How to Transform E. coli by Heat Shock
    • How to Harvest Plasmid DNA with Minipreps
    • Miniprep Quiz
  • Unit 3: Measuring and Modeling Growth 

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    • Measuring Bacterial Growth by Optical Density
    • Let’s Model Exponential Growth
    • Let’s Model Logistic Growth
    • Growth Quiz
  • Unit 4: Comparing GMO Opinions 

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    • A GMO Opinion: The AAAS
    • A GMO Opinion: Jason Kelly
    • Logistic Collector
    • Logistic Collector Victory Code