Sixth Form Visit to the Nowgen Laboratory

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This one-day workshop explores the evolution of an unusual trait, where some people taste a particular chemical as being horribly bitter, while others can’t taste it at all. Why have we evolved these two responses? What evolutionary advantage could each have given us? Students work with their own DNA to classify themselves into one of three common genotypes and then compare their DNA sequence with that of a chimpanzee, helping them to understand convergent evolution between the two species. The workshop is run by members of the Public Programmes team and research students from The University of Manchester. It is delivered in the Nowgen Laboratory, on the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust site.
Key genetic terms (dominant, recessive, homozygote, heterozygote, and more)
DNA and the genetic code
Genetic variation
Classifying organisms
Variation, adaptation and evolution
Practical experience of:
Isolating DNA
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
Use of restriction enzymes
 Gel electrophoresis
Interpreting DNA gels