Database publishes students’ research on rockfish

Aaron Lyons

The National Center for Biotechnology database published research compiled by last year’s Genetics and Biotechnology students, with their names listed as first authors.

“It was a really big honor to see my name alongside people that have way more experience in the field than I do,” David Manahan ’14 said.

This class was the third to participate in a DNA barcoding project with Coastal Marine Biolabs.

The students sequenced a portion of flag rockfish DNA. The students were given samples from the organisms and then had to isolate and then amplify specific DNA sequence.

The process comprised of many steps to make sure samples were as pure as possible and did not become contaminated, Sam Lyons ’13 said.

“My favorite part was checking the database and being able to find my name,” Lyons  said. “Just to know that I have concrete results in the scientific community, in the biggest biology research database, felt awesome.”

This year’s class will continue the project and will collect their own specimens. They will isolate sequences of DNA on a field trip to the Channel Islands National Park.

“It astounds me that we can do this in a high school class,” genetics teacher David Hinden said. “It’s a chance to bring real science to the classroom.”