The World of Genetics bigger than imagined
By : Mokhinur 12 B and Alisha Roy 11 AGregor Mendel, the father of genetics, known for creating the science of genetics widened our horizon in this field and left us wanting to go further deeper into the human DNA being a marvelous masterpiece. The Biology students of grades 11 and 12, of Bharitya Vidhya Bhavan, were taken on an excavation to the genetics lab in Kuwait, on May 14, 2018, by our very able teachers, Mrs. Anselma Tessy Gonsalves, HoD, Biology, Senior wing, and Mrs. Sindhu Ashok of the Biology department. Ms. Hessa Al Ammar was the tour guide accompanying the students and teachers. They were introduced to the highly qualified research scientist, Dr. Reem Elshaffie who gave a very informative and interesting presentation on genes, chromosomes and DNA. She further spoke on the different processes like transcription and protein synthesis among others that DNA undergoes. She used very effective ideologies to make it clear and simple, for instance, comparing chromosomes to buildings, DNA being single buildings while genes take after apartments. Dr. Elshaffie shared a very interesting fact stating that only 2% of human DNA was known to us. This baffled the audience and made them aware of how important extensive research was to the future of genetics. With curiosity sparked in their minds, like Gregor Mendel, they went around the corridors and laboratories of the genetics center and were shown the many impressive machines, like the PCR,Gel electrophoresis and highly magnified microscopes to view the chromosome strands. We were fortunate to see the technologists preparing karyotype of human chromosomes. The scientist even spoke on the darker outcomes of genetics- genetic disorders, like Downs Syndrome, Klinefelters syndrome and Turners Syndrome. These disorders were caused by minor dysfunctions of arrangement of DNA. To us, they may be tiny differences in DNA but they arent to DNA. DNA is the identity of the person; one small malfunction leads to drastic outcomes like retardation and malformations of the human body. This exposure inspired the students to explore the different possibilities in the field of genetics, like forensic medicine, DNA fingerprinting etc. Genetic tools are extremely important to laboratory research in many fields. Oncology, bacteriology, virology, and immunology are some fields that make extensive use of genetic tools in research. The trip was an enriching experience and helped the students gain a better perspective on the world of genetics. It also helped them comprehend the practical use of genetics. The aim of the trip was successfully achieved leaving a Gregor Mendel spirit in each young scientist of tomorrow.