I am currently preparing lectures and a lab practical for a Masters course in Environment and Human Health. A lot of work, but lectures do give you the opportunity to take a step back and identify key concepts in the field; something which can get lost a bit in the minutiae of daily activities. As the students following this course are from a wide range of undergraduate backgrounds, I really need to get down to the basics however. I have decided on four lectures, one on DNA, one on DNA methodologies (mainly PCR and sequencing), one on environmental microbiology and one on clinical microbiology. The lab work will consist of a colony (multiplex) PCR and running an agarose gel. Luckily Lihong and Will still have waste water isolates they need to screen for the presence of antibiotic resistance genes, so the student’s results will actually contribute to ongoing work. I think (hope) doing a PCR should be doable for the students and give them a real taste of what lab work is about. Also, it will nicely tie in the concepts from genetics and microbiology covered by the lectures. Anyway, I just discovered some amazing youtube videos which will certainly be very helpful getting across concepts. This is my favourite:



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