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The 2017 Waksman Institute Summer Experience (WISE) is a program to engage high school students in an authentic research project in molecular biology and bioinformatics. It focuses on the isolation, characterization, and DNA sequence analyses of genes from the duckweed Landoltia punctata, and how these compare to those found in other species. Duckweed is a fresh-water aquatic plant that is of interest to the scientific community. A video of an overview of the research project can be found here

This intense 10 day experience was held from Monday July 31, 2017 to Friday August 11, 2017, at the Waksman Institute, Rutgers University.  Students in the WISE for High School Students program:

  • Attended seminars conducted by Rutgers faculty.
  • Worked in a college laboratory with instruction from researchers.
  • Isolated unique fragments of DNA by conducting laboratory experiments including plasmid DNA purification, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), restriction digests, and gel electrophoresis.
  • Analyzed gene sequences from these DNA fragments using the same bioinformatic tools used by practicing scientists worldwide.
  • Submited their DNA sequence analyses for publication on GenBank, the international repository of DNA sequences.

Each sequence that was published in the GenBank database acknowledged the student by name.  See here for a list of the sequences that were published this last year:  

Program fee:

  • The total non-refundable fee for the 2 week WISE program is $1,500.00. This fee covers costs for seminar and laboratory instruction; copies of the seminar and laboratory manuals; all laboratory reagents and supplies; and use of the computer laboratory during the program.