Biology Field Trip

Learning about antibody testing at the life science lab

Last autumn our year 13 IB biology class went to the life science lab at the Helene-Lange-Schule accompanied by Mrs Braun. Mrs Freiberger was overseeing the project and she taught us about COVID-19 as well as antibody testing both theoretically and practically.

First, we were introduced to COVID-19, a type of coronavirus, and the disease it causes. We then learned about antigen testing and how test strips work. Test strips are used to determine whether we are currently infected with COVID-19.

Finally, we were introduced to the “Elisa”-method (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), which is used to detect antibodies. This method of testing is used to find out if we have had COVID-19 in the past. Having finished talking about the theory behind these tests, we started producing and executing antibody tests ourselves. We used artificially made blood samples of several patients to test whether they held antibodies against COVID-19. In the end, we were able to detect antibodies in three of the six samples which meant that these three people had had a COVID-19 infection in the past. During the day, we were able to experience real lab work. We learned how to adequately use pipettes, and how important it is to pipette the correct amount. We got great insides into actual lab work, and we saw the amount of precision and concentration it requires. The day was an amazing experience, and it proved to be a great addition to the topic of immune biology we covered in class.

Esther & Paula, year 13

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