Students present work done in IAP biology lab techniques class

Students used lab techniques to determine genus and species of bacteria sample

Students in the 7.102 (Introduction to Molecular Biology Techniques) class presented their work Tuesday. They spoke about their lab procedures and research conclusions.

The purpose of the class was to provide freshmen with an introduction to biology laboratory procedures and to prepare them for internships and UROPs. It was led by Dr. Mandana Sassanfar, a lecturer in the biology department, and graduate students Clare Harding, Danielle Adekunle, and Alexandra Navarro.

Over the course of three weeks, students performed various lab procedures to identify the genus and species of a random sample of bacteria. They used polymerase chain reaction to extract the DNA sequence of the bacteria and the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool to match the DNA sequence with a specific genus and species of bacteria. They also used lab techniques, such as gram staining and flagella staining, to determine bacterial features that included membrane structure and motility.

Reflecting on her class experience, Phoebe Li ’21 said in an interview with The Tech, “You get a lot of lab experience. … We learned a lot and I feel very comfortable going into a UROP now and working in different labs.”

Magnolia Chinn ’21 described the environment as flexible but supportive and structured. “I would recommend this course to anyone looking to gain valuable lab experience before beginning research,” Chinn said in an interview with The Tech.