Using Genetic Engineering and Fluorescence to See Inside Cells at UMass Amherst

  • January 1 2030

  • Rolling deadlines, apply soon when you're ready!

  • 9th - 12th


Pre-college programs at UMass combine all the major elements of college, including great academics, living in a residence hall, and eating in our award-winning dining commons. Of course, it takes a little help to adjust to life on a college campus, so we have great live-in program assistants who are specially trained to hel

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More Info

In this course, students will use genetic engineering to coax cells into showing us their inner workings. We will study up- and down-regulation of gene expression by growing bacteria engineered to fluoresce when they detect lactose, and we will ourselves engineer mammalian cells to show us what their cytoskeleton does during cell division. We will: grow bacteria containing a gene that will make a particular mammalian organelle glow extract the DNA from those bacteria grow mammalian cells in culture insert the bacterial DNA into those mammalian cells select only the cells that successfully incorporate the DNA make beautiful images of the transformed cells using fluorescence microscopy. Along the way we will try to answer such questions as: How do we see color? What is fluorescence? How does a microscope work? What is a gene? How are genes expressed? What is the difference between gene expression in bacteria and in mammalian cells? What is the inside of a cell like? How does the rate of cell division differ between mammalian and bacterial cells?

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Opportunity Specifications

Listing Type:

Summer Program



Sub Categories:

Bio Technology,Biology,Chemistry,Engineering,Science,Technology

Overnight Option:


Housing Option:




Entering Grades:




Session Length:

Two Weeks

Session Start:


Credit Awarded:


Application Fee:


Financial Aid:


Opportunity Information

Added by

One Jump

Application Deadline

Rolling deadlines, apply soon when you're ready!


Amherst, MA


Rolling deadlines, apply soon when you're ready!

Financial AID

Grade Levels

9th / 10th / 11th / 12th

Last Updated on

June 26 2019

Opportunity Types

Summer Program

Important Dates

Start Date

Rolling deadlines, apply soon when you're ready!

End Date

Rolling deadlines, apply soon when you're ready!

Deadline Date

Rolling deadlines, apply soon when you're ready!


No multiple sessions

College Fly-Ins (for high school seniors)