UC Davis Pre-College Program: Environmental Toxicology

This engaging, hands-on program is designed to give you experience working in a university lab on a college-level experiment. With guidance from the instructor and UC Davis teaching assistants, you’ll be exploring a typical research question you might encounter in environmental toxicology courses.

Your research objective will be to explore the effect of toxic chemicals on Guppies that have been released into wastewater treatment tanks to control the spread of disease-carrying mosquitoes.

  • Use prepared samples of RNA extractions and cDNA generation.
  • Learn how to use online databases to identify genomes, genes and protein sequences.
  • Design primers for quantitative PCR (qPCR) and touchdown-PCR (TD-PCR) using modern open-source bioinformatics software.
  • Get trained on conducting PCR experiments, agarose gel electrophoresis and gel extractions for subsequent gene sequencing.
  • Identify adaptive mutations in the sequenced genes of wastewater Guppies by creating nucleotide and amino acid sequence alignments.
  • Learn how to visualize and interpret collated data and how to design control and follow-up experiments.

If you’re interested in an emerging field of scientific study, the UC Davis Pre-College Program in Environmental Toxicology is an unparalleled opportunity to get first-hand experience in the field and to explore its applications and possible educational and career opportunities.

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