A Question of Taste

Using PCR to investigate human evolution

*Bookings are now closed for 2017*

A Question of Taste is a school workshop where students investigate how humans and chimpanzees evolved to taste a particular chemical. Students examine and analyse their own DNA as they discover more about evolution and how genetics helps us understand evolution.

A student using a pipette

The workshop includes:

  • Extraction of students’ DNA
  • PCR
  • Restriction digestion
  • Gel electrophoresis
  • Analysis of DNA bands
  • Bioinformatics activities
  • Facilitated discussion incorporating How Science Works concepts



A Question of Taste is a whole-day school workshop for up to 25 students. It runs between 10am and 3pm, with a lunch break at around midday. It is usually led by PhD students studying at The University of Manchester and fully supported by the Public Programmes Team.

Due to health and safety, we regret that we cannot accommodate more than 25 students in a workshop.

Evaluation for last year

  • 99% of students felt that attending the workshop successfully allowed them to develop their practical skills.
  • 100% of teachers would bring a group of students again


“Allowed our students to be stretched beyond the specification, learning about bioinformatics and the human genome.”

“Gave me the opportunity to use advanced equipment and techniques and apply knowledge in a new way.”

Cost: £375 per workshop (maximum of 25 students)

Please register your interest by contacting publicprogrammes@cmft.nhs.uk or calling 0161 276 4658.

The calendar below shows availability for our Question of Taste workshops during the 2017 academic year. Please note that The workshops will run between January and April:


Are you a supertaster?
A fun test for you and your students.

Presented by Professor Mark Miodownik on the BBC website, people with a super-sensitive tongue will be able sensitive to certain foods, find out how you compare with this simple taste-testing experiment.

The development and delivery of this workshop has been supported by both the Wellcome Trust and The Granada Foundation. It was developed as part of the national Survival Rivals project funded by the Wellcome Trust to celebrate Darwin’s bicentenary.