Studying Science Across the Globe

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Connetquot High School students enrolled in John Halloran’s science research classes recently worked beside Dr. Peter Bickerton, the scientific communications and outreach manager at England’s Earlham Institute to complete an original research study on DNA. 

During class, students explored the field of bioinformatics by extracting DNA from ant samples, which were previously collected as part of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s Barcode Long Island program. According to Mr. Halloran, once extracted, the DNA underwent a Polymerase Chain Reaction to amplify a specific gene that can be sequenced and used to identify the organism using an online program called “DNA Subway.”

Dr. Bickerton visited Connetquot High School in an effort to continue the collection and sequencing of DNA samples that can be shared on a global level, specifically through initiatives such as The Darwin Tree of Life project. According to its official website, The Darwin Tree of Life Project is a global effort that has been launched in an effort to sequence all living organisms on earth including animal, plant, protozoan and fungal species.