Agilent Technologies Inc.
(NYSE: A) today announced that Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's Dolan DNA
Learning Center (DNALC) has adopted the Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer system to teach
high school students and teachers how to analyze DNA.
The Bioanalyzer uses miniaturized "lab-on-a-chip" technology to replace
traditional slab gel electrophoresis techniques, greatly speeding up the process,
improving consistency of results and reducing use of hazardous chemicals associated
with DNA analysis.
Television series such as Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) have pushed forensic
biology into kids' living rooms, and this topic is now also included in the
New York State Regents Biology syllabus. Agilent instruments allow students
to develop their own "DNA fingerprints" and in a half-day field trip
to the DNALC, they can produce results that are virtually identical to those
pursued by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.
"Seeing their own DNA gives students a tangible link to the modern study
of human genetic variation and how science is used in both court cases and the
study of human evolution," explained David Micklos, DNALC executive director.
"The DNALC is the only organization in the world to provide this sort of
high-level experience on a regular basis to pre-college students."
Agilent initially donated one Bioanalyzer to the DNALC. Based on its speed,
high analytical capacity and ease-of-use, the center incorporated the instrument
in a protocol designed to analyze each student's own DNA using new forensic
DNA protocols. Subsequently, the DNALC purchased five additional units for its
teaching labs around New York City, including the newest facility located in
East Harlem. Currently, the instruments are used as part of a four-hour workshop
to genotype each of the 1,000 students who attend the DNALC Forensic DNA Profiling
Class every year.
"We've enjoyed a close working relationship with the Cold Spring Harbor
Laboratory community over the years," said Leo Brizuela, Ph.D., of Agilent's
Life Sciences Solutions Unit. "We are especially excited to contribute
technology that helps their work in educating future generations of scientists."