Would you eat an irradiated grapefruit? Well, you may have already done that as ruby grapefruit are the product of irradiated normal grapefruit.

Year 12 Biology students explored this and many other issues on their excursion to La Trobe University.

Biology requires students to complete quite complex experiments with equipment that, unfortunately, most schools don’t have.

Luckily, we have La Trobe University down the road who offer a free program to our school specifically for this purpose.

Our Biol students spent the morning doing gel electrophoresis, learning about the Polymerase Chain Reaction machine, modelling DNA replication and learning about how genetic engineering is being applied to agriculture.

After a brief break for lunch, we then examined these genetically engineered organisms through different lenses eg. ethical, social, legal etc.

Students were asked to place themselves on a continuum as to whether they agreed with these real examples.

Many had to justify their decisions on these engineered organisms/products.

This activity raised more issues and we were so proud that our students thought like biologists and asked and discussed more scientific problems and dilemmas that arose from this activity.