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Wellesley College BISC110 Introduction to Cell Biology
Spring 2010

Series 2- To Taste Or Not To Taste

In this three week series of experiments you will learn:

  1. About SNPs and how they are analyzed.
  2. How to isolate DNA from your own cells.
  3. How to use PCR to amplify a region of your PTC gene which contains a SNP.
  4. How to use restriction enzymes and gel electrophoresis to identify the two most common PTC gene variants.
  5. How your own genotype and phenotype at the PTC locus correlate.
  6. About the ethical and policy issues which surround the use of SNPs in medicine.

The following labs were adapted from Merritt, R. B., et. al. 2008. Tasting phenylthiocarbamide (PTC): a new integrative genetics lab with an old flavor and from the American Biology Teacher, 70:23-28 and Human Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Determination, by S. Deel, S. Singer and D. Walser-Kuntz (

Lab 5 Taster SNP 1
Lab 6: Taster SNP 2
Lab 7: Taster SNP 3

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