Submitted by Sandra Pena, AHS Asst. Principal
The Airline High School Science Department is receiving more than $20,000 in equipment to study DNA isolation and the genetics of taste.
Angel Stinson and Vanessa Zeno, science teachers at AHS, have been working with scientists and physicians from Louisiana State University Health Science Center (LSUHSC- New Orleans) and Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans to bring Bioscience enrichment to the students at Airline High School through Biotechnology. This partnership has provided the Biological Science Department at Airline High School with equipment for studying the genetics of taste with help from a $1.5 million Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) supported by the National Institutes of Health. Students for the next five years.
The equipment includes all necessary materials to collect DNA from cheek cells and use electrophoresis to determine the genotype for a certain trait. Students will explore the connection between Bitter-Tasting Ability and SNP’s in the TAS2R38 gene.
The future of genetic research is in the hands of our students. Introducing students to Bioscience enrichment activities will certainly bring attention to the growing popularity of genetic testing and human genome research. Research is advancing rapidly, such as the ability to isolate DNA to determine genetic risk factors associated with human traits, diseases and other medical conditions.
These opportunities can spark students’ interest in the field of Biomedical Research and other associated medical fields.