Saturday DNA! Sessions

Welcome to the Winter 2020 Saturday DNA! Program!

Add some DNA to your day . . .

Come to the science scene on Saturdays! Join us for exciting new Saturday DNA! sessions!

  • One session is offered for each Saturday in this newsletter. The January and February sessions are for ages 10 - 13, with a chaperone required, while the March session is for ages 14-adult, with a chaperone required for participants under 15 years of age.
  • Chaperones must be 18 or older, and register, pay, and fully participate in program activities.
  • All sessions are two hours long: 10:00 am – noon.
  • The sessions are held at the Dolan DNA Learning Center at 334 Main Street, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724.

Eventbrite is used for Saturday DNA! registration and payment.

  • All seats, in every session, must be reserved using Eventbrite. We do not accept walk-ins.
  • Sessions are $24.00 per person, per session ($48.00 per session for a participating student and accompanying chaperone) plus Eventbrite registration fee.
  • Seats for each session are awarded on a first-come, first served basis.
  • The name and phone number of each ticket purchaser and/or chaperone and the name and age of each minor registrant must be included on your Eventbrite registration. We will not honor reservations that fail to provide this information. If you do not provide this information, your reservation will be cancelled and your registration fee will be refunded.
  • Once you are registered and payment is made, you will receive an email which will be your entry ticket.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Got Lactase?

Over 60% of humans worldwide are lactose intolerant. This intolerance is considered an ancestral trait because early humans were all intolerant. Like other mammals, these ancient ancestors stopped producing the digestive enzyme after weaning off their mothers’ milk. Why, then, are some humans able to continue drinking milk after infancy? Join us to better understand the very interesting story of how a combination of genetics and culture has affected our evolution.

Participants will:

  • discuss the genetics and biochemistry of lactose intolerance, and how it affects different populations;
  • use enzymes to digest lactose;
  • design an experiment to investigate enzyme activity.


  • 10:00 am–12:00 pm
  • Ages 10–13, chaperone required
  • $24 per student, $24 per chaperone

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Plasmid Manipulation

Plasmids are small pieces of bacterial DNA containing specialized genes that can help bacteria survive in adverse conditions. With molecular scissors called restriction enzymes, scientists can create synthetic plasmids that are used to genetically engineer bacteria to make human proteins such as insulin. Join us to explore how scientists cut and paste DNA molecules to create custom plasmids.

Participants will:

  • use restriction enzymes to digest plasmids;
  • analyze plasmid restriction maps to predict the digestion results;
  • visualize the results through gel electrophoresis.


  • 10:00 am–12:00 pm
  • Ages 14-adult, chaperone required for participants under 15 years old.
  • $24 per student, $24 per chaperone