About Us: The Group consists of 6 team members, and our advisor.
Clint Kennedy – Advisor (Science teacher)
Sarah LaGrotta – Senior (Team leader)
Anna Hanes – Junior (Team leader)
Jenna Durphy, Katlin Davis, John Davis and Jerrod Horton – Sophomores (in training)
History –

Our project is an offshoot of the Thermophilic project, which Katie Irwin had been working on. We are using the same equipment, and doing the same beginning learning projects to understand the way of the DNA. Thanks to the Murdock Foundation we are able to do so. They have supplied us with a grant, so that we can purchase new equipment if and when we need it. They have supported Mr. Kennedy’s research in the past and still do.We are currently learning the principles of electrophoresis, and proper use of the equipment.

Future Plans – Or goal is to educate the public about the fecal contamination of our water resources in the Cascade area. We accomplish this goal by collecting various water samples from different rivers, streams, creeks, lakes, etc. Once we have the samples we run the water through filters to catch the e-cloi. We incubate the samples in hopes that the bacteria will grow. We then purify the sample by trying to extract the e-coli and incubating it by itself. We then lysis (break apart) the cells in order to extract the DNA. We plan on learning the process of PCR and sequencing in order to be able to identify the source of the bacteria. We need to be able to tell what animals the bacteria are coming from, whether it is coming from the ducks, cows or humans. Therefore we will know how to spend the money to fix the problem. The State Lab has offered their equipment and assistance in this project at our disposal. This information will help to educate the public about the contamination and the steps that are necessary to restore the waters’ quality.  
Process of the “Crime Scene” –

Before we begin, we ALWAYS put on our protective clothing, eyewear, and gloves! First we digest the DNA which breaks the DNA strand into little chunks in a warm water bath. We pour the agrose gels into the trays, and let them set to harden. Then we put them into the electrophoresis machine, and cover them with TBE buffer. Then we dye the DNA, and VERY carefully pipette the DNA into the wells in the gels. We then turn the electrophoresis machine on and let it run. After this, we soak the gel into DNA stain. Once we have completed this, we are ready to look at the trace marks that the DNA has left. We do this by laying the gels on the Mini-Transilluminator (wearing protective eye gear, of course!) We hope to use a similar process for our future tests of e-coli.

 
Equipment –

We have a long list of equipment that we have access to use:
Gene Cycler
BIO-RAD Micro Centrifuge
Maxi Mix II
Electrophoresis machines (4)
Compact Rocker
Bacterial Incubator (2)
Mini-Transilluminator
A very expensive microscope
Warm water bath heaters (2)
Microliter Pipettes (8)
We also have tons of various chemicals and other accessories!