Between locusts, basil and recombinant plasmids...

On the weekend of Jan 17-19 2020 14 students from Saxony and Thuringia had the chance to broaden our horizon realted to biology topics and get to know like-minded people!

The numerous tasks, to which we dedicated ourselves full of excitement and interest, were also a preparation for the International Biology Olympiacs. The selection process for the German team 2020 is running over 4 rounds, of which we have already completed two. The other two are still pending at the end of February and in May.

During the weekend we trained practical skills such as the determination and dissection of invertebrates or the preparation of plant cross sections and microscopic drawings. But also performing PCR and gel electrophoresis of transformed plasmids was a fascinating experience in the laboratory of the Institute of Biochemistry II. But we can never get enough of the basic knowledge about biological facts and processes! The program included a mock exam as well as various key topics in lectures and seminars. For example, we learned about old and new sequencing techniques and about biostatistics.

Besides the challenges, there were of course breaks in which we could exchange ideas in a relaxed atmosphere and thus get to know each other. Another action-packed highlight was the wheelchair basketball game with the Jena Caputs e.V. in the Carl-Zeiss-Gymnasium gym, which balanced our urge to move and was a lot of fun as a team!

Because we also stayed overnight in the classrooms of the school, a sociable atmosphere was created and even intensified by joint card games.
So what we took with us from the 3 days was a well-filled memory with all kinds of useful information and lots of nice contacts.

Nantje Nageler

Remark of the Carl-Zeiss-Gymnasium: To our great pleasure we can add that 3 Thuringian participants of the seminar have qualified for the 4th and last selection round of the IBO [International Biology Olympiad]. This means that they belong to the 13 best in Germany who will fight for the entry into the four-member German IBO team at the IPN in Kiel in May.