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Gene Expression Virtual Lab

Time to complete course: 35 min.

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Take samples of lean and obese pigs and analyze the levels of gene expression by PCR, RT-PCR, NGS and qPCR experiments.

About the Gene Expression Virtual Simulation Lab

In the Gene Expression simulation, you will study obesity by collecting a fat sample from lean and obese pigs and extract the RNA using the phenol-chlorophorm method. You will isolate and purify the mRNA and utilize RT-PCR technique to synthesize cDNA. After that, you will modify the cDNA sample with adaptors to be able to use the Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technique.

Perform a NGS experiment

You will perform a NGS experiment, and with that learn all the important steps in this high-tech molecular biology procedure with immersive 3D animations that show what is happening at the molecular level inside the NGS machine. You will also learn how to analyze the data from the experiments. This should give you an understanding of how mRNA relates to the gene expression levels and how this can affect obesity.

Validate your results

After identifying a candidate gene involved in obesity, a quantitative PCR (qPCR) experiment needs to be performed to validate your results. You will prepare the qPCR reaction and obtain the melting and standard curves.

Will your analysis confirm your previous results, and will you find a gene responsible for obesity?

Techniques In Lab

  • RNA isolation
  • cDNA synthesis
  • Next generation sequencing
  • Gene expression
  • qPCR

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to…

  • Explain the central dogma of molecular biology
  • Explain and perform RNA extraction and mRNA purification
  • Perform PCR, RTPCR, qPCR, and Next Generation Sequencing techniques
  • Relate cell functions with gene expression.

Screenshots of Gene Expression Virtual Simulation Lab


Prof. Susanna Cirera Salicio

Prof. Susanna Cirera Salicio

Institute for Department of Basic Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen

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