News & Announcements

ABE Labs Rebranded as ABE Foundations of Biotech


As the Amgen Biotech Experience develops new teaching resources, including other lab-based modules, we have rebranded the original ABE labs as the Foundations of Biotech labs. Although basically unchanged, all sequences have had their covers replaced to reflect the new Foundations of Biotech title. Our other lab-based module currently available is Exploring Precision Medicine. ALL lab-based materials are available below:

Foundations of Biotech

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Complete Genetic Engineering Sequence (18–20 class sessions)

In the Complete Genetic Engineering Sequence, students explore how to use recombinant DNA techniques to introduce new genes into an organism and have that organism produce new proteins. In this sequence, students create a recombinant plasmid with a red fluorescent protein gene from a sea anemone. They then transform Escherichia coli (E. coli) with the plasmid. The process is analogous to the process used to produce human therapeutic protein proteins, such as insulin or human growth hormone.

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Abridged Genetic Engineering Sequence (16–18 class sessions)

The Abridged Genetic Engineering Sequence is identical to the Complete Genetic Engineering Sequence except that students are provided with the recombinant plasmid rather than creating it themselves.

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Focus on Bacteria Sequence (12–14 class sessions)

The Focus on Bacteria Sequence allows students to complete the process of bacterial transformation. In this sequence, students are provided with the plasmid that they use to transform the bacteria and do not complete the confirmation steps.

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Introduction to Biotechnology Sequence (4–5 class sessions)

In the Introduction to Biotechnology Sequence, students read about the genetic engineering process and learn how to use basic biotechnology lab tools. By completing this sequence, students learn that specific tools are used in recombinant DNA techniques.

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Extension: Colony PCR (1–2 class sessions)

The Colony PCR lab is designed to be used as part of Foundations of Biotech. In this lab, students sample a colony from one of their plates and perform PCR on it to confirm the presence of the desired plasmid.


Exploring Precision Medicine (8–12 class sessions)

ABE’s Exploring Precision Medicine module explores the connections between genes and traits. Students learn how slight genetic differences can impact how well a patient responds to certain medications, and explore how future physicians may use DNA sequencing to inform clinical decision-making. Students examine how variations in a gene influence individuals’ abilities to taste the bitter compound “PTC,” and then consider how tiny differences in individuals' DNA might be responsible for variations in drug metabolism.