The Wilson and Bianco labs hosted 10 A-level students for a week beginning 22nd October 2018. Following introductory talks, each student was given the opportunity to perform their own experiments. Using immunohistochemistry or in situ hybridisation, staining methods to visualise protein or messenger RNA respectively, they characterised the expression of specific genes key to left/right asymmetry in forebrain development. This was followed by guided confocal microscopy sessions to fully appreciate the results of their experiments. At the same time, students were also challenged with performing a molecular biology technique called Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to assess changes to the DNA sequence of mutant zebrafish embryos. They were also exposed to behavioural neuroscience approaches in a short talk, thus completing a well-rounded programme that explores genes to behaviour of brain function.
On the final day, short presentations were given by the students on what they have learned. Needless to say, the teachers for the week were very impressed by the depth of knowledge acquired in a short space of time, given the large amount of information not covered in their studies.
We wish each and every student all the best on their next academic journey!