In this lesson, students explore how restriction enzymes can be used to create unique DNA fingerprints for individuals. In the lab portion, students use restriction digest and gel electrophoresis to try and solve an innocuous crime scenario- “The Case of the Missing Klay Thompson Jersey.” Using their gel electrophoresis results, students make a claim about “Who done it?” and support it with evidence and reasoning. There are also many other ways to frame this lesson using the same resources, including exoneration of the wrongfully incriminated, tracking wildlife poachers, and finding missing persons.
In the online version of this lesson, students consider the same case and watch point of view videos to describe what happens during the lab portion. They then use sample results to write a claim and provide evidence and reasoning.
- Students will use evidence from their experiments to support their stated claim
- Students can describe how restriction enzymes can be used to differentiate between variations in the sequence of human DNA (and other organisms)
- Core skills in molecular biology including micropipetting and gel electrophoresis are appropriately applied by students during their investigations
- Getting Started Series Parts 1-3 from BABEC to learn about DNA extraction, Micropipetting, and gel electrophoresis
- Variation in DNA sequence (order of bases) exists among humans and other organisms
Disciplinary Core Ideas:
LS3.A – Inheritance of Traits
“…not all DNA codes for a protein…” The regions the restriction enzymes cut vary among individuals and typically do not code for a protein
LS3.B – Inheritance of Traits
“…distribution of traits on genetic and environmental factors”
Science and Engineering Practices:
- Planning and Carrying out Investigations
- Analyzing and Intercepting Data Patterns