On 28 February and 1 March the Year 10 girls embarked on a genetics excursion to La Trobe University.
Our experience began with a guided tour of the campus, where we visited the various faculties of the university and colleges, as well as the extra-curricular activities offered. After lunch, we walked to the state-of-the-art AgriBio building, where we were given a short presentation about the basics of DNA and genetics.
Moving on to experiments, we began by analysing the traits in a cow that were most likely to contribute to quality milk production, subsequently finding a suitable partner for the cow. Being given the difficult choice between Eliminator, Daisy and Martina the cows, we were asked to pose as breeders and decide which cow would most likely produce good quality milk at the farm.
Our next activities entailed the collection and dissection of wheat germ DNA, and we concluded the day by determining the distinguishing factors of a person’s genes through DNA profiling. This also allowed us to utilise Gel Electrophoresis to profile the DNA we extracted.
We sincerely thank Ms Greer for organising this excursion, which was both an educational and interesting experience, and gave us a taste of what science at university is like.