Given the diversity of phage, each one is almost certain to be unique, so the students get to name their newly identified life form. They then spend the rest of the term purifying and characterizing their phage and extracting its DNA.
Between terms, the purified DNA is sent to the Joint Genome Institute-Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, where it is sequenced. In the second term, the students receive files containing their phage’s DNA sequence. The students then use bioinformatics tools to analyze and annotate the DNA from their phage.
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