Ideas for presentation?

Jayakumar, R R.Jayakumar at
Sun Jun 13 12:03:03 EST 2004

If it is for children, then it wouldbe best to catch them young.   Try showing simple Petri plates of E.coli or bacillus subtilis or something harmless like that, grown in the absence and presence of certain commonly available mutagens like nicotine or just cigerrette smoke, or other waste matter.  Show how potential these environmental pollutants can be.  Spontaneous mutations in micorbes can show up as resistance to certain drugs like erythromycin (for gram -ve organisms) or rifampicin, tetracyclin etc.  You can explain then what mutations are and how they change the physiology of the microbes and their equivalents in human beings.  Alternatively, it can also be turned into showing how unnecessary drug intake can cause the development of mutant dangerous bacteria in the air.
     Show microbes like E.coli transformed with a GFP carring vector (several available in market) glowing green under UV (suitable face and eye protection is needed).  A more safer way wouldbe to transform a coupleof E.coli cells like the JM109 line of cells with a vector carrying the LacZ gene and show the blue colour when exposed to  substrates like IPTG/X-gal.  This can show how foreign  genes are being expressed in bacteria just like bacteria is being used in several pharmaceutical companies for the benefit for mankind, especially for insuline and several microbials etc.  
      Show them how fast some bacterial cells divide over time with time lapse video.
      Show nitrogen fixing bacteria forming root nodules in groundnut plants and symbiotic association of the rice field fern Azolla and anabeana (I hope I am right here).  These are available from any agricultural stations.
     bye and bestofluck.

	-----Original Message----- 
	From: owner-methods at on behalf of DavidMicklem 
	Sent: Sun 6/13/2004 12:46 PM 
	To: methods at 
	Subject: Re: Ideas for presentation?

	In article <cabk3a$vmg$1 at>, Trond Erik Vee Aune
	<trondaun at> wrote:
	> Hi,
	> I'm going to participate at a "Science Day" in the city where I live,
	> and have been asked to make an interactive presentation for children
	> from 10 to 19 where the topic is gene technology/microbiology. I can
	> borrow some equipment from the lab where I work (general molecular
	> biology lab). Do any of you have any ideas what I could do? Ideally it
	> should involve the children and trigger their curiosity while being fun
	> at the same time.
	> Trond Erik
	Could they make a rather quick and dirty DNA prep from eg onions? Spool
	out the DNA from ethanol (hmm, expensive in Norway, and maybe not
	allowed for children??). Get to take the DNA home with them....
	Some kind of colour-changing thing using eg lacZ??
	Showing cell under microscope - their own cheek cells??
	GFP (RFP, CFP, YFP) is always fun in gene tech - maybe you could have
	multi-coloured bacterial preps? You can excite it using BLUE light, so
	no need for UV. (e.g. a blue LED works OK, or a DarkReader, with orange
	Um, er, you don't have a GFP mouse running around anywhere do you :-)

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