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If you'd like to carry out these experiments with your middle school students, request reagents here

Frankenfood or Golden Rice

Genetically-modified foods are sometimes described as life-saving approaches to malnutrition, and sometimes protested as unnatural and unsafe. In this series of labs, you will work with a genetically modified organism that can be used to bake breads containing a super-dose of Vitamin A. You will test the bright orange yeast for vitamin production and for the food quality. Classroom time will be used to understand the genetic changes inside these “VitaYeast,” as well as to debate the merits/pitfalls of food re-engineering.


  • sterile microbial techniques to grow yeast in the laboratory
  • to perform quality control tests on genetically altered yeast cells
  • to investigate the genetics of vitamin production and how to engineer it
  • to debate the ethics of tinkering with our food supply

Workflow for this experiment

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