With this classic pGLO Bacterial Transformation activity, students analyze the growth of bacteria on various media and examine the roles of external and internal factors in gene regulation. Gene expression in all organisms is carefully regulated to allow adaptation to differing conditions and to prevent wasteful production of proteins. Bacterial genes encoding the enzymes needed to metabolize the simple sugar arabinose are a perfect example. A promoter region upstream of these genes acts as a molecular on/off switch that regulates their expression. The genes are activated only when arabinose is present in the environment. Bio-Rad's pGLO plasmid incorporates the arabinose promoter, but the genes involved in the breakdown of arabinose have been replaced with the jellyfish gene encoding GFP. When bacteria transformed with pGLO plasmid are grown in the presence of arabinose, the GFP gene switches on, causing the bacteria to express GFP and fluoresce brilliant green. When students genetically reengineer bacteria with the genes from a bioluminescent jellyfish, they never forget the central mantra of molecular biology:
Group exhibits include In Kritieke staat (In a Critical State) , Het Kunstenlab (The Art lab), Deventer, the Netherlands, 2013; Index , Part of the Borimix Festival, CSV Center, New York, NY, 2012; Looking Into the Light , Culturefix, New York, NY, 2012; Operating System , Sylvia Wald and Po Kim Art Gallery, New York, NY, 2012; Tell Me How You REALLY Feel: Diaristic Tendencies , The Center for Book Arts, New York, NY, 2012; The Un(Framed) Photograph , The Center for Book Arts, New York, NY, 2011; LUMEN 2011 , Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island (COAHSI), Staten Island, NY, 2011; Chain Letter , Shoshana Wayne Gallery Los Angeles, CA, 2011; Chain Letter , Samson Projects, Boston, MA, 2011; FlashLight , Nuit Blanche New York, in conjunction with the New Museum’s Festival of Ideas for the New City, New York, NY, 2011; Collaboration with Hahn Rowe , The Stone (music and performance venue), New York, NY, 2010; Studio Residency for New York City Arts Workers, Open House , The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (EFA) Project Space, New York, NY, 2010; Anthropology: Revisited, Reinvented, Reinterpreted , Central Booking, Brooklyn, NY, 2009; Fusion Folks – Contemporary Art Exhibition, Bo-Pi-Liao Historic Center, Taipei City, Taiwan, 2009; Metro Poles, Art in Action , Bronx River Art Center, Bronx, NY, 2008; Meet Qute Heskin Contemporary SOHO gallery, New York, NY, 2007; Dumbo Art Center (dac) Art under the bridge festival , Brooklyn, NY, 2006; Form Through Light, Cairo Opera House Art Gallery, Cairo, Egypt, 2005; Peripheral City: City of Refuge , Chinatown, New York, NY, 2005; Une Promesse de Malheur , Galleria Arte de Mexico, Mexico City DF, Mexico, 2005; Word Wack , Maxwell Fine Art, Peekskill, NY, 2005; amBUSH , Van Brunt Gallery, New York, NY, 2004; Beautiful, Male, Objects, Sarah Nightingale Gallery, South Hampton, NY, 2004; Flock, Spire, Beacon, NY, 2004; and Selfish, Gallery 128, New York, NY, 2004.