One of my favorite experiments, in our biotech program at Seattle Central Community College, was when my students sequenced promoters that they had cloned from E. coli . I liked this activity because it pulled lots of pieces together and allowed the students to connect the dots between the DNA sequences that regulate gene expression, the DNA sequences that code for proteins, and the protein sequences themselves.
Now, thanks to LiCOR, other students can do this, too.
LiCOR has $1.75 million in cash if you want to start sequencing DNA.
The requirements are here. I’m biased, of course, since I started sequencing DNA in 1984. But, I’m convinced, and others seem to be too, learning about DNA is still a great way to learn about life.
1. S. G. Porter and T.M. Smith. 2000. Bioinformatics in the Biotechnology Classroom. J. of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology 24:314-318.