With all the updates in the past, it is easy to forget that Bento Lab is only a part of a bigger puzzle. Over the past month we have finalised the Starter Kit with tutorials that start at learning to pipette and using all the equipment correctly, and culminates with DNA barcoding experiments.
Here is a preview of an experiment we mentioned on the campaign page that we have been developing in partnership with the London DIYBio group. The gene TAS2R38 is responsible for a bitter taste receptor on the tongue. There is diversity in the gene sequence, called ‘Single nucleotide polymorphisms’ or ‘SNPs’ (pronounced ‘snips’). This diversity influences how we taste a compound called PTC (phenylthiocarbamide), similar to compounds found in bitter foods and drinks, like Brussels sprouts or coffee. In this experiment, we were looking for the SNP with the ID number rs1726866. Bethan’s genotype is homozygous (CC) and Alex’s genotype is homozygous (TT), which means Alex should be less likely to taste bitterness.