Seeing biology students get excited about science is reassuring for our global future!  When students capture images of DNA and post to their social media with a “Wow!  Gel electrophoresis is sweet!”  we know we are doing something right.  The MiniOne System is specifically designed for classroom use – to ignite students interests in biotechnology by enabling research quality results in a single class period.

Amgen Biotechnology Experience (Dublin, Ireland) technical officer, Milena McKenna shared her thoughts with us along with some awesome photos of their students loading DNA samples into their MiniOne units:

Q. Can you tell us a little about your program and why you chose the MiniOne System for your gel electrophoresis labs?

A.  The Amgen Biotechnology Experience brings a taste of hands-on molecular biology experiments to Irish classrooms. It introduces real-world science and provides additional professional development for our teachers.  We purchased MiniOne after it being recommended to us by colleagues at other Amgen Biotech Experience sites, and I cannot believe how great it is. Our teachers love it, because now they can fit the whole DNA gel electrophoresis exercise into a single class. Students don’t need to wait till the next day to see the result of their own gel. Additionally, the blue light and the GelGreen dye are so much safer than the conventional, UV light-activated DNA dyes.  We tested the dye ourselves and were very pleased to see that it did not enter living cells, even at 10fold concentration.

Amgen, Biogen, MiniOne, Electrophoresis, DNA, Dublin, Classroom, Biology

Secondary school students in Dublin, Ireland load DNA samples into the MiniOne system (Courtesy of Amgen Biotechnology Experience, Ireland).

Q. What are your students saying about the MiniOne System?

Here is a verbatim quote from one of our secondary students: “It is so easy to set-up and use.” That student had never done electrophoresis before. For me, that is exciting.  For our program, I will also add that a big benefit for us is the unit size. MiniOne is small and portable, which means we can transport it easily to the schools and back.  It also fits nicely on our workshop table at the various conferences and public science fairs. For anyone who is working in education and outreach, I can highly recommend the MiniOne system to you.