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ERIC Number: EJ850687
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 5
ISSN: ISSN-1470-8175
Undergraduate Virology Exercises Demonstrate Conventional and Real-Time PCR Using Commercially Available HIV Primers and Noninfectious Target
Sulzinski, Michael A.; Wasilewski, Melissa A.; Farrell, James C.; Glick, David L.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, v37 n4 p232-235 Jul-Aug 2009
It is an extraordinary challenge to offer an undergraduate laboratory course in virology that teaches hands-on, relevant molecular biology techniques using nonpathogenic models of human virus detection. To our knowledge, there exists no inexpensive kits or reagent sets that are appropriate for demonstrating real-time PCR (RT-PCR) in an undergraduate laboratory course in virology. Here we describe simple procedures for student exercises that demonstrate the PCR detection of an HIV target nucleic acid. Our procedures combine a commercially available kit for conventional PCR with a modification for RT-PCR using the same reagents in the kit, making it possible for an instructor with access to a LightCycler[R] instrument to implement a relevant student exercise on RT-PCR detection of HIV nucleic acid targets. This combination of techniques is useful for demonstrating and comparing conventional PCR amplification and detection with agarose gel electrophoresis, with real-time PCR over a series of three laboratory periods. The series of laboratory periods also is used to provide the foundation for teaching the concept of PCR primer design, optimization of PCR detection systems, and introduction to nucleic acid queries using NCBI-BLAST to find and identify primers, amplicons, and other potential amplification targets within the HIV viral genome. The techniques were successfully implemented at the Biology 364 undergraduate virology course at the University of Scranton during the Fall 2008 semester. The techniques are particularly targeted to students who intend to pursue either postgraduate technical employment or graduate studies in the molecular life sciences. (Contains 3 figures and 2 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania