The Urban Barcode Project: Student Projects

Uploaded by DNALearningCenter on 25.04.2011

Hi, I'm Grace. I'm a sophmore at Trinity. I'm Katy Gamble and I'm a senior, also at Trinity. I'm Rohan Kirpekar,
also a senior at Trinity.
Our project is called TBOL, which stands for Tea
Barcode of Life, and we worked with
DNA barcoding. DNA barcoding is essentially extracting
the DNA from a particular plant or animal. Each animal has very
specific variations in these certain genes, and they're
different enough that you can match it to a particular species. The FDA could employ
DNA barcoding in their testing in food.
We really didn't know much beyond
what our ninth grade biology class taught us.
We decided on tea together
there's a lot of variation and available teas and it's a great thing to test
because we have a lot of potential data. A lot of them are from all kinds of
supermarkets around the city;
small specialty stores, anywhere we could really find. We're opening a tea bag
right now and we're taking out the mixture of teas,
and as you can see there are a whole bunch of different plants in here because they all look
like they're different colors
so we're going to do is we're going to take out all the little pieces that look
like they came from the same plant.
And often times if we have a large sample we take them into the mortar and pestle and we
grind them up before extracting the DNA.
And we use all kinds of table-top equipment, so it was very small; it fit about
a table this large,
and some of the research we were able to actually do at home since it was online.
We also have a paper pending publication, so hopefully
that'll get through and we can have something in a scientific journal, and let students know
how they, if they're interested can do exactly what we did.