DIYbioMCR presents… a Mystery Meat Workshop

DNA Fingerprints

DNA Fingerprints. Photo credit: Irish Central / Google Images.

Mystery Meat?

Ever wondered what that “meat” in your takeaway or ready meal really consists of? Still trying to track down a reliable supplier of horse meat lasagne now that Findus has gone legit? Want to investigate whether food fraud is happening on your doorstep?

We’ve been working, with assistance from Parisian biohackspace La Paillasse and itinerant biohacker Noah Most, on a “quick ’n’ dirty” DNA analysis protocol that can solve these kinds of question and we’re ready to test them out, with your help, in a one-day workshop.

DNA Analysis!

Using a couple of simple techniques and some lab know-how it’s possible to look for particular patterns in DNA, whether unique to an individual (a DNA fingerprint, as used by the forensic analysts at CSI), linked to a particular inherited genetic trait (e.g. eye colour or bitter taste perception) or unique to a particular species (Cow, Pig, Sheep, Horse, Mammoth, Zebu etc.)

In our workshop, you’ll get hands-on with the basics of the two techniques involved – PCR and Gel Electrophoresis – and the science behind them. Search for unique patterns in the DNA of your favourite (or not-so-favourite) takeaways and ready meals, and attempt to identify the mystery meats contained within! No scientific knowledge is assumed so come curious and have fun.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up on Eventbrite now! Link: http://mysterymeat.eventbrite.co.uk.