NCBE: Equipment and Materials

Equipment and Materials

Electrophoresis and DNA
Plant Science

Since its establishment in 1985, the NCBE has developed and supplied schools and colleges with innovative equipment and materials that would not otherwise be available at a reasonable price.


On these pages you’ll find numerous innovative resources for teaching biology. For example, there’s a microbial fuel cell that generates electricity from yeast (great for studying respiration).

Speaking of yeast, we’ve got one that turns red when oxygen is bubbled through its growth medium, yet turns white when the air supply is turned off. There are bacteria that ‘talk’ to one another, triggering the production of a dark purple pigment (the posh term for this is ‘quorum sensing’) and there are mushrooms that grow on toilet rolls.

We’ve a wide range of enzymes, so you can peel oranges without touching them, make milk more digestible for cats and understand how the insidse of after-dinner mints are liquefied.

Look out for our award-winning electrophoresis equipment – separating DNA with it is a snip (especially if you use our dried restriction enzymes). You can also use the same equipment to investigate food proteins. We’ve developed a kit for exploring genetic modification and a simulation of human genetic screening to spice up your teaching about Mendelian inheritance.

If you like DNA, why not put some of yours in a pendant? (ideal for feeder school visits, school fetes and open evenings).

In addition, there’s an innovative kit that makes plant tissue culture easy, and a clever method of studying photosynthesis in a quantitative manner.

If you are looking for ideas for the ‘required’ practicals in the new A Level specifications, we’ve something to offer there, too.