Students in lab working on POSaM device.

Taylor Clark (from left), Tim Eisenhardt and Zack Murter work on the POSaM in the lab.

Engineering Students Take a Plunge Into . . . Biology

2012 Spring Symposium schedule

How many picoliters of fluid are required to synthesize a section of DNA?

That's not exactly the type of question five engineering majors expected to encounter when they began their studies four years ago. But the five students designing and building a piezoelectric oligonucleotide synthesizer and microarrayer, or POSaM device for short, can tell you now.

The device will create DNA samples for biology research and employ ink-jet printing technology to "print" the samples on glass slides similar to microscope slides. Faculty and students at JMU and other area colleges will use the slides for gene expression testing and comparative genomics. The technology also will be used in teacher training.—Full story.

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