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    The Herbert W. Boyer School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Computing
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Home > Majors and Programs > Outreach Programs > Biotech Outreach Center > Teaching Modules
  • What's the Deal with DNA?

    dnaThis module begins with a PowerPoint that presents a timeline of Biotechnology History to aid your students in understanding the definition of biotechnology. The accompanying notes review the basics of DNA (structure and function) with a hands-on lab providing students with the opportunity to extract their own DNA from their cheek cells. Questions such as, “Why do we extract DNA?” will be answered. The notes also cover DNA replication with accompanying hands-on Mitosis Manipulatives to help students understand exactly when & where DNA is replicated. The process of PCR is fully defined which includes a student game called PCR Dash featuring Taqman.

    Proceed to Module 1

    CSI with SVC

    csiThis module focuses on DNA fingerprinting. Students are presented with a paternity case in which the father of an orphan child is unknown. Students learn about the process of gel electrophoresis and have the opportunity to use very simple set-ups called E-gels. An E-gel is a buffer-less system that safely uses a gel enclosed within a plastic case. The set-up plugs into any lab/wall outlet and can be run in a short amount of time (15 minutes). Accompanying notes review profiling basics and restriction enzymes.

    Proceed to Module 2

    A Whale of a Tale

    whaleThis module focuses on Bioinformatics. Students are presented with an excerpt from Stephen J. O’Brien’s “Tears of the Cheetah,” which contains a real-life scenario using bioinformatics to identify an endangered species. Students will discuss various intriguing questions based on the reading. Students will also learn how to use “BLASTn,” an online nucleotide-sequencing analysis tool from NIH.

    Proceed to Module 3

    The Power of Proteins

    proteinsThis module focuses on Protein Synthesis, Purification, and Extraction. In a hands-on lab, students use microbiology techniques to culture transformed bacteria which contain a “mysterious” gene found in a particular plant from the rain forest. Through simple column chromatography, the students extract a Green-Fluorescent Protein (GFP) believed to be a new drug discovery. The isolated substance will glow in the dark. Students also learn about the process of translation through the use of Protein Synthesis Manipulatives as well as a paper-n-pencil exercise.

    Proceed to Module 4