The 2017 Waksman Institute Summer Experience (WISE) were two a two week Programs (6/19/17-6/30/17 and 7/31/17-8/11/17) that engaged high school students in an authentic research project in molecular biology and bioinformatics. It focused 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. High school students who were in the 2017 WISE 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 vetted DNA sequence analyses for publication on GenBank, the international repository of DNA sequences, that is maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Education (NCBI).
Each sequence that is published in the GenBank database acknowledged the student by name. Cllick here for a list of the sequences that were published by students in the 2017 WISE.