Glowing bacteria


Modifying bacteria so that it glows green under UV light

If you’re not familiar proteins, they are elaborate molecules that get manufactured according to a set of instructions. There are about 20,000 different kinds in humans. The instructions to make them are segments of DNA called genes.

This experiment demonstrates one method for making proteins. The basic idea is you take the instructions (the gene) and put it in something that has the manufacturing facilities and the proteins get produced. Cells and bacteria have those facilities. For this experiment we’ll choose a harmless strain of E. coli bacteria.

There’s a single gene/protein that’s responsible for jelleyfish to be able to glow. It’s called Green Florescent Protein (GFP). We bought some plasmids (short loops of DNA) that contain some GFP and will try to get some of the plasmids into some bacteria and let them grow for a while. If all goes well we’ll end up with a dish with streaks of glowing green bacteria.

 Posted by at 11:21 PM