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10 April 2006

Department of Biology Sequences
First Genes from DNA Isolates

Faculty in the Jacksonville State University Department of Biology recently used their new CEQ 8000 Genetic Analysis System (Beckman-Coulter Inc.) to analyze and sequence the genes from several bacterial species.

As part of laboratory activities, students in genetics and molecular biology classes were assigned the task of isolating, amplifying, and sequencing DNA from the bacteria.  Students in the classes have expressed excitement about their experiences. 

The CEQ system, acquired last summer through a Beckman-Coulter educational grant, is a turnkey DNA sequencing system used in many federal and state molecular diagnostics labs throughout the country.  The system is semi-automated and can sequence up to 96 DNA samples in one run. 

The equipment will allow the department to not only teach state of the art methods in molecular biology but will also provide undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to conduct molecular biology research. 

Previously, the department had to rely on other diagnostics labs for final analysis of samples prepared at JSU.  Now, DNA analysis, including isolation and sequencing, can be conducted at JSU.  Research projects currently underway include examining population genetics of freshwater cnidarians (jellyfish), tricolor shiners, and black bear.

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