GSAT Program Celebrates First Graduate
GSAT student Laura Mai successfully defended her MSc thesis on Friday, August 26, 2011 to become the first student to graduate UBC with a degree in Genome Science & Technology. Laura’s thesis examined the application of SCODA to forensic exhibits. SCODA is a novel extraction method that utilizes electrophoretic forces to concentrate nucleic acids in a gel. Its unique capabilities allow it to separate nucleic acids, like DNA, from other molecules, which could include environmental contaminants like humic acids from soil, indigo dye from denim and various proteins. Laura’s thesis work found that SCODA is optimal for highly inhibited samples that mask the presence of DNA, as in some cases of bone, and that specific protocols can be designed to further improve SCODA to outperform other extraction methods, which are more difficult to customize.