DNA Fingerprinting activity. Students used two restriction enzymes on the DNA samples. After running the DNA through the gel electrophoresis, they were able to determine the identity of the unknown person from last week's case report.
This is it. The big DNA Fingerprinting lab for my HBS students. Now that my teams have some basic information on the unknown bones, they will use DNA to determine the exact identity of our missing person. Today was a massive pre-lab effort to prepare for the actual lab tomorrow. We reviewed content from PBS and learned more about restriction enzymes. The students made their own 0.8% agarose gels today. Last year I did this step for my students, but I have since decided that this is a great lab skill for students to be exposed to. They get practice with a variety of lab equipment and get to reap the benefits of a job well done or experience the consequences of a not so great effort. We read over tomorrow's procedure and highlighted the major steps. It will take all of our two hour class to complete the DNA Detectives lab and the students will need to be ready to go as soon as they walk in the door. It's a great lab and I am looking forward to seeing what our results turn out like this year. I wish we did stuff like this when I was in high school!
Poor Anna! After reviewing Anna's medical history, students had reason to believe she could have Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH). In order to test Anna for FH, we completed DNA testing on her (and a number of her family members.) Students reviewed many molecular biology techniques to prepare for our first real experiences with genetic testing. This lab is heavy in lab techniques. The students learned how to make their own agarose gels to use during testing and practiced using micropipetters. The process of gel electrophoresis was new to everyone. Several student groups realized just how important attention to detail is when trying to achieve quality results.
Students used their results to diagnose Anna and four other members of her family. They created a pedigree and predicted the genotypes of the untested family members. We had great results this year! I love being able to expose my students to lab techniques that they don't see in their home high schools!
Students learned about Henrietta Lacks and her cells today. (HeLa Cells) As a class we discussed the origin of the cells and how they came to be in our classroom. During the lab students learned how to use micripipetters, stain slides, create permanent slides and use oil immersion. Afterwards we discussed some medical ethics regarding if you have the right to sell your tissues or cells for a profit. Although this lab is optional this year, it was a great use of a day when many schools were out of session!
The HOSA Leadership Team planned a kickoff for HOSA Week called, "A Look into Health Careers." This evening involved pizza, guest speakers and a special lab activity. Our guest speakers were awesome and the students who attended got a lot our of their insight. A huge thank you goes out to the folks at Amedisys for taking time out to talk with our high school students. The lab activity involved HeLa cells and learning to use several new lab techniques including the use of micropipetters and oil immersion microscope work.
Today students used paper chromosomes to model mitosis and meiosis. Next we used chromosome 11 and the sex chromosomes to generate some children. We collected experimental data regarding the offspring's genotypes and phenotypes for three different diseases - both recessive and dominant. Later in the unit we will use our experimental results to compare to the predicted genetic outcomes one would expect to see.
Students used a computer simulation to change the amino acids in a short protein to demonstrate how one little change can make a big difference in the behavior of a protein.
We are now well into Unit 3: Sickle Cell Disease. This week we are taking a closer look at DNA. In Unit 1 students learned about the structure of DNA and how the nucleotide order makes us unique. Now we are investigating the role of those nucleotides in Sickle Cell Disease. Today students worked with a DNA "sentence" to transcribe mRNA in order to translate a Protein "sentence." This gave everyone an opportunity to practice transcription and translation with their hands. After we understood the process, we used our same sentences to show point mutations and frame shift mutations. Next, we applied our understanding of protein synthesis to the actual mutation found in those with Sickle Cell Disease. Starting tomorrow we will use simulation software to delve deeper into Sickle Cell Disease and the mutation that causes the problem.
This week students were introduced to DNA analysis (and all of the tough vocabulary that comes with it). We used paper strips to simulate strands of DNA and scissors to represent restriction enzymes. The "restriction enzymes" cut the "DNA" at specific locations based on the order of the nucleotides. Next, students took their DNA fragments and taped them to a paper simulation of gel electrophoresis. Students were able to see that large RFLPs (Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphisms) travel slowly in the gel and stay closer to the starting point than smaller RFLPs. They learned how to use the RFLPs to determine the DNA collected from the scene. I am so proud of their hard work with this difficult concept. We took a small quiz on Tuesday to check for understanding - our big unit test is on Monday, September 16th.