A Visit To The Liggins Institute

May 24, 2013 at 3:25 PM

With thanks to Mr Simon Walker, Head of Biology

As part of the Year 13 NCEA/IB Biology course, all Biology students visited the Liggins Institute at the Medical School for a day to understand the role of biomedical research in New Zealand society and to explore the direct links between concepts used in research and the concepts the students are learning within the Biology programme.

Specifically, the programme for the day focused on the role of Biotechnology in Biomedical research in relation to Gene Expression, Techniques and Contemporary Biological Issues.

This involved:

  • Practical work (Polymerase Chain Reaction and Gel Electrophoresis).
  • Small group interaction with Scientists to discuss research, ethical issues and career pathways.
  • Computer based analysis of Gel Electrophoresis results.
  • Ethical dilemmas.

The research context for the day was ‘A Healthy Start to Life’ (Foetal Environment and Adult Disease) as an examination of the epigenetic effects which can have long lasting effects on the health of the individual. EOTC (Education Outside The Classroom) visits such as these are invaluable to our students for putting their learning into context.

*The Liggins Institute is a Large Scale Research Institute at the University of Auckland. It is a world leading centre for translational research on foetal and child health; the impact of nutrition on health throughout life; epigenetic regulation of growth and development; breast cancer; and evolutionary medicine. Their aim is to rapidly translate discoveries in basic science into therapies and strategies that will prevent or help people manage major health problems of the 21st century. They are committed to promoting awareness and understanding of science and provide wide-ranging opportunities for school students and teachers to learn about the latest advances in the life sciences within the context of current, applied biomedical research and links directly to the secondary science curriculum.

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