On Saturday 4th October, the GAMY project took a trip down to Techniquest in Cardiff Bay to spend some time dabbling with our DNA. We were a bit bleary-eyed as we set off from Merthyr in the morning, but soon livened up when we got into the lab and put on some white coats like proper scientists! We took swabs from the inside of our cheeks (yes, that’s what we’re doing in the photograph!) and then extracted our DNA from these cheek cells. The procedure was quite straightforward and Jo explained it all clearly as we went along, though we did have to trust her that something was happening as we couldn’t really see anything changing in our test tubes. She also told us a bit more about DNA and chromosomes – who would have thought that we were so closely related to flies?!

The final step of adding alcohol to precipitate the DNA needed a steady hand, and some of us were steadier than others. However, we could all see some white bits of DNA graudally appearing – our very own DNA! The final step of transferring the DNA into a necklace caused some difficulties as the DNA seemed to be stuck fast to the tube, but we all managed to get there in the end, and wore our necklaces with pride, even though no-one else would know what was in them! We finished off our trip with some lunch and a bit of time to look around Techniquest – an enjoyable and educational trip.

Dabbling with DNA – link to photo