Know Your Frog (it's cheap, quick, and easy)
Speaker: Jim James

In the lab that I am working, we are gathering genetic information on two species of frogs. To ensure we have reliable data, it is important that we correctly identify the species of frog that our tissue samples come from. The test we currently have is time consuming and expensive. My project has been to design a test that is quick and inexpensive.

The main concept of the test involves the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). I have designed the primers to be species specific. For example, frog "A" primer will not match frog "B" DNA, even though their genetic codes are very similar. The primers are also spaced different distances apart so that the PCR products will be different sizes. Determining the size of PCR product is very inexpensive and quick, making this test an ideal replacement for the current method that we use to identify tissue.