by Molly Persky
Last Wednesday, a group of students from Woburn Memorial High School’s AP Biology and Honors Anatomy classes went on a field trip to Citilab at Boston University. There the science classes, made up primarily of seniors, participated in two different lab experiments. The biology class’ lab demonstrated transformation, which is the ability of bacteria to evolve quickly by picking up foreign DNA from their environment and adding it to their own DNA.
The experiment focused on getting e.coli bacteria to pick up DNA that would make it resistant to an antibacterial known as ampicilin. In both labs the students were instructed and taught basic college lab safety procedures by their teachers and BU graduate students. Senior Tim McCall was thankful for the guidance by the BU graduates.
“I thought Meaghan, our student from BU, was extremely informative and made the lab so much easier,” said McCall.
The e.coli resulting from the experiment, though resistant to the ampicilin, was still harmless and safe for the students to take back to the high school for further study.
In the anatomy class’ lab, the students played the part of doctors trying to diagnose a fictional patient. The students studied hemoglobin samples to see whether the patient had sickle cell anemia, a blood disorder. Senior Jyoti Nair felt the lab made it easier to understand the science behind such medical tests.
“It helped me understand the concept better,” said Nair.
Overall, the trip to Citilab was considered by many students to be both a fun and educational experience.