DNA, RNA, Genetics and Genomics

Bioinformatics-based lessons are a powerful way to guide students to a deep and comprehensive study of genetics.  The lessons in our collection span all levels of biology, from “seeing” DNA, to using gene sequences to identify and learn about genetic diseases, to analyzing PCR data in order to answer complex questions.

Canine Case Studies: Using Pedigrees and DNA Sequencing to Solve Problems

Dogs and genetics meet in two case studies that encourage students to be detectives.  In the first case study, students will use a pedigree to solve a problem about a genetic disorder in a specific dog breed.  In the second case study, students will use maps, graphs, and DNA sequencing to determine what animal “meat” is being used in two different brands of dog food.   Read more about Canine Case Studies: Using Pedigrees and DNA Sequencing to Solve Problems

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Bacteria Primer Comparison 2: Gel Electrophoresis

This lesson will occur after a lesson in which the students will isolate bacterial DNA by using primers and PCR. In this lesson, each student will be able to accept or reject his or her hypothesis by completing gel electrophoresis of the PCR product and analyzing the results compared to the other bacterial primer products and a ladder.   Read more about Bacteria Primer Comparison 2: Gel Electrophoresis

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Bacteria Primer Comparison 1: PCR

This lesson will allow students to become familiar with the PCR process by using the thermocycler after discussing the process and its purpose along with completing an online simulation of it.  It will also allow the students to hypothesize which primer will work best with the various prokaryotic samples and then analyze their results after researching basic characteristics about the bacteria Read more about Bacteria Primer Comparison 1: PCR

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Blue People of Kentucky

In this activity students will be introduced to an unusual and rare genetic condition that causes a person's skin to turn blue.   A powerpoint presentation will be used to introduce the topic.  The presentation will open up opportunities to review genetic concepts as well as create discussion on topics like population genetics, ethics, etc.  Students will examine a pedigree where they will see Read more about Blue People of Kentucky

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In the Year 2525… Using Real Time PCR Data to Analyze a Founder Scenario

This activity will place the concepts of Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium into a contemporary context.  During the activity students will interpret data from real-time PCR and use it to calculate allele frequencies.  These allele frequencies will then serve as a hypothetical founder population, for which students will run simulations using Allele A1 software to predict possible future allele frequen Read more about In the Year 2525… Using Real Time PCR Data to Analyze a Founder Scenario

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Who Dunnit? The Case of the Missing Laptop

The Case of the Missing Laptop is designed to be used as a unit.  It begins with a story about a petty high school crime and some DNA evidence found at the crime scene.  Students are taken through a problem-solving process as they learn techniques that would help them assess the DNA evidence from the crime scene to identify the perpetrator. Read more about Who Dunnit? The Case of the Missing Laptop

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Modes of DNA Analysis: Extraction, Electrophoresis, PCR, and Microarray

Students will develop an understanding of available technologies that assist in analyzing DNA. Students will work virtually though the processes of DNA extraction, PCR, Gel electrophoresis, and DNA microarrays. Virtual extraction and electrophoresis labs will be used to show students the process before they actually do the process themselves. Read more about Modes of DNA Analysis: Extraction, Electrophoresis, PCR, and Microarray

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