In this lesson and its extensions, students will learn practical applications
of DNA profiling and the role it plays in today's forensic science.
DNA extraction is a fundamental concept in the field of forensics and
biotechnology. Students should have previous knowledge of the contents
in DNA and RNA. Through video and Web-based activities, the students
will develop a greater understanding of what DNA does in a cell. Students
will be able to assemble DNA parts in order to simulate DNA strands.
They will also have the opportunity to experimentally view DNA through
an extraction technique included in the lesson.
Students will be able to:
- Understand the concepts of what DNA is and where it is located
in a cell
- Identify the two types of molecules that make up the rungs of a
- Identify the two types of Purine and Pyrimidine molecules
- Explain how the molecules Adenine, Thymine, Guanine, and Cytosine
can only be combined in four ways
- Explain, define, and apply DNA extraction techniques
- Examine and describe the physical structure of DNA
Science Education Standards
CONTENT STANDARD A:
As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop
the abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry and understandings
about scientific inquiry.
CONTENT STANDARD C:
As a result of their activities in grades 9-12, all students should
develop understanding of the molecular basis of heredity and the cell.
Cell Biology Resource, Episode #5: "DNA Replication and
This Web site allows students to become familiar with the basic components
of DNA. The interactive component of the site allows students to reconstruct
DNA using guanosine, adenine, thymine, and cytosine.
In the reality-based tour of Berkley Laboratories, students can view
the various equipment used in DNA extraction. To ensure you can adequately
see the lab, download Apple QuickTime Virtual Reality software before
viewing the site. The above address has a link to allow for the download.
Cells, DNA and You
This is a Web site where teachers can find various types of lesson
plans and teaching materials that will further their understanding of
Per Group of Two:
Per Group of Four:
- Tongue depressors
- Glue gun
- Two-foot long strips of 1/4" wide elastic (one strip randomly
marked in 1 inch color segments using blue, red, green, and purple)
- Set of 4 markers (one of each color - blue, red, green, and purple)
- Raw, untreated wheat germ (1.5 g)
- 2 small beakers
- 1 N sodium bicarbonate (10 ml)
- 2 small test tubes
- Palmolive liquid dish detergent (5ml)
- 1 glass rod (Pasteur pipette)
- Meat tenderizer (3g)
- 2 graduated cylinders
- 95% ethyl alcohol (ice cold)
- 1 plastic spoon
- Hot water bath at 55 degrees Celsius
- 1 balance (triple beam or digital)
- Small bowl of ice
- Hot plate