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Photo: Bordenstein Lab
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Updated 08/07/2016
Participation fee $0
Expenses $100
Spend the time outdoors
Location anywhere
Appropriate for kids no
Teaching materials no

Required Gear:

Tubes, Ethanol, Computer, Microscope, DNA extraction kit, PCR reagents. Full list of gear provided at home project website - http://discover.mbl.edu.

Discover the Microbes Within! The Wolbachia Project

The Wolbachia Project brings real-world biology research into high school and undergraduate classrooms to empower students with science.


The four core goals of this initiative are:

  1. Engage citizen scientists in nature and real-world research

  2. Encourage international participation in the collection of new scientific data on Wolbachia bacteria that live inside insects and other arthropods

  3. Enhance interest in science through an integrative lab series spanning biodiversity to molecular biology

  4. Give people an idea of what it's like to be a scientist.


In this integrative lab series, you will collect insects and other arthropods in your local area, identify the organism using an online key, extract DNA from the animal, use biotechnology techniques to test for the presence of Wolbachia bacteria in your samples. You will also be able to send your sample to a research institute that will sequence the Wolbachia DNA so you can do a bioinformatic / phylogenetic analysis of the Wolbachia symbiont.

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