Students Conduct BEST Science!


Students of Janine Koenig, Biology II instructor at St. Mary’s Dominican High School, conducted three days of experiments as part of the school’s participation in “BEST (Bioscience Enrichment for Students and Teachers) Science!”

BEST Science! is a partnership between Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, Ochsner Medical Center and local school districts.

The students performed a taste test in class to see if they have the gene TAS2R38 for a certain bitter taste. Students were either tasters or nontasters.

The students then isolated DNA from their own cheek cells, amplified the TAS2R38 gene region encompassing a diagnostic SNP(single nucleotide polymorphism) by PCR (polymerase chain reaction). Then they took the PCR product and digested it with a restriction endonuclease and analyzed the products by gel electrophoresis. The students then compared the gel to their original phenotype.

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