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Biotech Lab Ready For Second Revolution

Biotech Lab Ready For Second Revolution

Aug. 1, 2003 - In the future, we may have DNA sequencers in our homes just as we now have personal computers. The genetic revolution is under way.

CCCCD has a new high-tech biotechnology classroom ready for student use in the fall. It is part of the new I-wing expansion at Spring Creek Campus. Biotechnology is touted as being the next big revolution (after computers), so students will be able to get a jump on this technology with new and improved learning facilities.

The tissue culture room has four laminar flow hoods, side-by-side incubators and one sink. The water system allows access to a high-purity water source that is contaminant free down to .03 microns. The general lab classroom has lower benches, three sinks, two fume hoods and a microscope cabinet. The laminar flow hoods and the CO2 incubator are for doing plant and tissue cultures, where cells are grown and maintained.

"The lab space was designed as it is to look as much like a real lab work space as possible," said Dr. Bridgette Kirkpatrick, professor of biotechnology, "thus the high benches etc. This will be a classroom-lab, with a screen. Sometimes it's necessary to start lab, then do lecture, then finish the lab due to incubation times or time required to run gels. Therefore it is beneficial to have lecture and lab in the same classroom."

The biotech classroom also has a shaking incubator, two fume hoods, a deli-style refrigerator, high benches for reaching the workspace, a water purification system including a DI filtration system under the sink and a reverse osmosis system on the counter, an audio-video screen that drops down from the ceiling, a microscope cabinet, and an -80C degree freezer.

The -80C freezer allows for storage of RNA and cell stocks that have various pieces of foreign DNA in them. The bacterial cells can be stored in glycerol at -80C. When needed, media plates can then be streaked with glycerol stock, and resulting bacteria grown and isolated to harvest DNA. The shaking incubator is used to grow bacteria that contain foreign DNA of interest.

All of the biotech core curriculum classes, except Bioethics, will make use the new facilities. Students can receive an AAS in Biotechnology with 64 credit hours, including such classes as Introduction to Biotechnology (BITC 1311), Biotechnology Laboratory Methods and Techniques (BITC 1402), Biotechnology Laboratory Instrumentation (BITC 1401) and Molecular Biology Techniques (BITC 2401).

For more information, contact the Department of Math and Natural Science 972-881-5880.