Advanced Genetics conducts mouse lab

Helena Buttke, Co-Editor-In-Chief

Each year, seniors find themselves taking harder and more advanced classes, one being Advanced Genetics. Advanced Genetics has been taught by Patrick Arndt for 15 years. This class is only available to juniors and seniors as it is taught at a college level. 

The class consists of labs where the students take a closer look at the genes and chromosomes of various animals and insects. The most well known labs being the fruit fly and mouse lab.

The purpose is to extract chromosomes from mouse bone marrow to determine the diploid number of chromosomes in the common mouse,” Arndt said.

In the lab, students work with live mice in order to obtain the mice chromosomes, which can be scary for many students.

“The most interesting thing about the lab is watching the students handle live mice and inject colchicine (numbing solution) into their abdomen,” Arndt said.

Upperclassmen that take advanced genetics can prepare themselves for their future in the medical science field.

“Advanced Genetics exposes students to molecular genetics like cloning, paternity testing and crime scene analysis,” Arndt said. “Anyone interested in the growing field of DNA science should definitely take the course.”

According to senior Matthew Garczynski, the week-long lab is interesting because they are finding the chromosomes and cells in the mice. 

For many classes, they do different things like learning new lessons but for advanced genetics, each day consists of relatively similar things.

A typical day is making and staining slides that have the mouse cells in them. We then search the slides for cells that have busted open exposing the mouse chromosomes,” senior Abby Werch said.

There is a lot to learn from the advanced genetics class, one being that time is important.

“The biggest thing I have learned is that science takes a lot of time and you can’t rush labs and experiments like this one,” Werch said.