Inquiry-based activity

Eye Color: Is Blue Really Blue?

What determines eye color? After learning about different models of how eye color is determined, students will examine phenotypes from 16 subjects and predict if they have B (blue) or non-blue HERC2 gene. Next they will analyze PCR light cycler data and see if that matches their predictions. Read more about Eye Color: Is Blue Really Blue?

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DNA Surveillance Unit: Is That an Endangered Whale You’re Eating?

In order to better understand DNA fingerprinting and its real world applications, students will use a real genomic site, DNA Surveillance, based in New Zealand, to test whale samples against a standard database. This is done to monitor the sale of protected whale species in Japanese fish markets. Read more about DNA Surveillance Unit: Is That an Endangered Whale You’re Eating?

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Inquiry Lab: Identifying Bacteria using Morphology, Physiology, and Molecular Data

Bacteria are prokaryotic organisms that can be found almost anywhere on earth.  Identifying prokaryotic species can be difficult in a high school lab.  The purpose of this lab it to use information that is known about bacteria cell wall composition, size, shape, arrangements, enzymatic activity, colony growth, and molecular data (DNA) to identify species (or group of prokaryotes) of known and Read more about Inquiry Lab: Identifying Bacteria using Morphology, Physiology, and Molecular Data

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Molecular Sequences & Primate Evolution: An Amino Acid Example

In this activity students will used macromolecular data to construct a cladogram of 7 primate species and 1 non-primate species.  This will convey to students the idea that monophyleticism in both the recent and the more distant past can be inferred from macromolecular data. Students will compare and analyze amino acid sequences using NCBI’s BLAST tool. Read more about Molecular Sequences & Primate Evolution: An Amino Acid Example

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A Student-Centered Guide to Bioengineering

Online activities, videos, and hands-on labs allow students to visualize and practice bioengineering techniques and concepts in this week-long unit.  Students will learn about DNA extraction, restriction enzymes, gel electrophoresis, PCR, and DNA sequencing by answering a series of questions based on videos, diagrams, and prior knowledge. Read more about A Student-Centered Guide to Bioengineering

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