Round Lake High School

Facilitator: Suzanne Fetherling

Time: 5:00pm - 8:00pm (dinner provided)

Location: Round Lake Senior High School, 800 High School Drive, Round Lake, IL 60073 

To taste or not to taste, that is the question. In the PTC Taster Lab you will examine how small genetic variations called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) can change our ability to perceive the world around us. The human sense of taste is composed of an intricate neurophysiological network, but as we’ll see in this lab, it only takes a few small changes in our DNA to change the way we taste. Alleles of the TAS2R38 taste receptor gene can confer the phenotypic ability to taste the chemical Phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) and other bitter flavors. You will PCR amplify your own TAS2R38 taste receptor gene and use DNA restriction analysis to determine whether you have taster or non-taster version of the gene. You can determine whether you are homozygous or heterozygous for this trait, and correlate your genotype with your own ability to taste PTC (and foods that contain related chemicals, such as broccoli).

This workshop is perfect for teachers of Middle School Science, General Biology, AP Biology, Health Sciences, or Biotechnology students. 

Participants will be able to access all materials needed for the lab FOR FREE through our Baxter Box Equipment Loaner Program.