Investigating genetic markers for sleep patterns

Towards the end of Term 1, the Uplands Science Faculty welcomed back Democratising Life Sciences, a division of Lab-Ind Resource (LIR) based in Selangor who offers STEM education to students in Malaysia. Josiah Liew from the group came into school to run a workshop which gave Year 13 students the opportunity to get some hands-on biotechnology experience, including PCR and Electrophoresis techniques.

The lab allowed students to test their own genotypes (genetic makeup), focusing on the circadian clock gene (Per3) that has been associated with sleep behavior preferences in humans. Students learned about the circadian clock before amplifying this gene (taken from a sample of their own DNA). They then studied a possible genetic association with their own sleep patterns. The data collected by the Year 13 students will be shared on a global database and will contribute towards a better understanding of the genetics of sleep!

James Waring

Head of Faculty (Science)