Science class removes proteins from bacteria


John Schocken

Senior Makenna Martin makes her protein glow.

Stephen King, Writer

The medical intervention class has been working together in a lab all about removing proteins from a bacteria called E. coli. The purpose of the lab is to make students think about how the experiment is taking place at the molecular level.

“This lab is special to me,” science teacher John Schocken said. “I used to work in a protein lab and proteins are my favorite biomolecule.”

The first step was to transform the bacteria into a plasmid, which is a piece of DNA in circular form, containing a gene from jellyfish that results in producing a glowing protein called green fluorescent protein. The bacteria and the protein combined can be seen with ultraviolet light.

“We get to do stuff that you normally don’t to do in college,” senior Alex Dulak said. “Everything’s new and it’s exciting to do. Everyone works together.”

The next and final step is using column chromatography to break open their bacteria and isolate the green fluorescent gene from other bacteria present. This is where they are in the lab right now.

“You can the results really clearly,” junior Matthew Cao said. “It’s cool to see something that you can now see.”