Forensics From Candy DNA to Solving Crimes Unit

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					    Forensics: From Candy DNA to Solving Crimes Unit

    Unit title:     Forensics: From Candy DNA to Solving Crimes

  Grade level:      9 - 12

                    This unit is designed for students to achieve an in-depth
                    understanding of the structure and function of DNA. They start
                    by building models of DNA out of candy to understand the
                    basic structure of the double helix, backbone, and base-pairing
                    of nucleotides. Also with the candy models, students learn
                    about replication, transcription, and translation.

                    Students then proceed to learn about DNA extraction. First
                    students perform a virtual lab to learn the procedure of isolating
                    DNA from living cells. Then students extract DNA from split
                    peas where they can actually visualize the DNA.
                    The next activity is centered on basic molecular biology
                    techniques. Students practice using micropipettors and
                    checking their accuracy. They witness the making of an
                    agarose gel and practice loading samples into a practice gel.

                    After students have a firm grasp on molecular techniques, they
                    can start solving crimes. In the first activity students learn
                    about restriction enzymes and gel electrophoresis and use the
                    concepts to determine which suspect stole the cheese.
                    Ultimately, students get to use agarose gel electrophoresis
                    (DNA fingerprinting) to find out who kidnapped Justin Bieber
                    (or any crime created by the teacher).

                    Students learn about the structure and function of DNA and
Molecular Biology
                    basic molecular biology techniques crucial to any molecular

                    DNA structure, replication, transcription, translation, DNA
  Key Words:
                    isolation, molecular techniques, agarose, gel electrophoresis,
                    and forensics.
    Subject area:        Biology

Educational Standards:   Georgia Science: SB2. a-b, f

                         Have Your DNA And Eat It Too lesson.doc

                         Isolating DNA from a living cell lesson.doc

                         Virtual DNA isolation Activity.doc

                         Split pea DNA isolation activity.doc
  Related Activities
                         Molecular Biology and Crime-Solving Lesson.doc

                         Molecular Biology Techniques Practice Activity.doc

                         Who Ate the Cheese Activity.doc

                         Crime Scene Investigation Activity.doc

   Time required:        5   90-minute class periods

                         Students should be given a pre-test and post-test on the basics
   Unit Assessment       of DNA structure/function, molecular biology techniques, and
                         gel electrophoresis.

       Owner:            Derek Tucker, Corey Sweat, Lynne Burkhalter

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