Modeling How DNA Fingerprints Are Made (KEY)

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Grade Levels
9th - 12th
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  • Word Document File
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I created this activity as a part of a unit on biotechnology and DNA. Students can do this activity on their own, though it would probably work better as a guided group activity. Each section has a description and an activity for students to complete such as labeling or answering questions.

The first section starts with an explanation on how DNA from a sample is cut into fragments with restriction enzymes. Students identify recognition sites of the Smal enzyme and determine how many fragments would be made if the DNA sequence were cut with it. They are also given information about how small samples of DNA from blood can be copied and amplified with PCR.

The procedure of gel electrophoresis is described and students analyze a sample showing fragment lengths. This helps students realize that different fragments would be cut if different enzymes are used.

Finally, students analyze crime scene DNA fingerprints and a paternity DNA test. Matching bands are colored and identified to solve the mysteries.

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Download includes the answer key, student version as a word document, and a link to the Google Doc file of the student version.

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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Develop and use a model to illustrate the hierarchical organization of interacting systems that provide specific functions within multicellular organisms. Emphasis is on functions at the organism system level such as nutrient uptake, water delivery, and organism movement in response to neural stimuli. An example of an interacting system could be an artery depending on the proper function of elastic tissue and smooth muscle to regulate and deliver the proper amount of blood within the circulatory system. Assessment does not include interactions and functions at the molecular or chemical reaction level.
Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the structure of DNA determines the structure of proteins, which carry out the essential functions of life through systems of specialized cells. Assessment does not include identification of specific cell or tissue types, whole body systems, specific protein structures and functions, or the biochemistry of protein synthesis.


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