I have read about the Human Genome Project. I have watched television specials aboutDNA and forensics. I vaguely remember studying Crick and Watson and their breakthrough discovery of the double helix structure of DNA. Yet, despite it all, I am still woefully ignorant compared to what the ninth graders at GCDS know and, more importantly, have experienced in the field of genetics.
Country Day was so lucky last week to have geneticists from Cold Spring Harbor Labscome spend two days helping our biology classes run a mitochondrial DNA sequencinglab. After collecting cell samples from their own cheeks with a saline mouth rinse, the ninth graders carefully followed steps to extract the mtDNA and test their samples using instruments and processes that most students don’t have the opportunity to work with until college.
In the coming days, classes will have a chance to analyze and compare the short segments of sequenced DNA—it should be fun for our set of ninth grade twins to look at their results side by side and find out how truly similar they are!
Adam C. Rohdie
Headmaster, The Greenwich Country Day School