Cuyamaca College Methodology of DNA Fingerprinting & Forensic Samples Worksheet

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Our topic today is DNA Forensics. Yes we are returning to this important biomolecule, DNA-the molecule of heredity, but in a new context. As scientists have learned more and more about the structure of DNA, namely by sequencing the human genome, it has become clear that we inherit more than just genes from our parents….we inherit, embedded in the chromosomes, repeating sequences of noncoding DNA, called satellite DNA. Several distinctive satellite sequences have been identified as part of the human genome and we inherit specific familial variations of these satellites, just as we inherit various forms of genes that code for traits and enzymes.

Forensic science technology has developed methodology to reveal these inherited satellite sequences, which are as unique to each individual as their fingerprints are unique(the only exception being monozygotic twins who have both identical fingerprints and identical satellite DNA). Hence the term DNA fingerprinting has been adopted by forensics to describe these inherited patterns of satellite DNA. In todays lab we will use DNA fingerprinting to solve a mock crime-the murder of Dr. Dinah Saurus.

So to complete todays lab I suggest the following:

2. Watch the youtubes below—-both are short in duration and both review the methodology of DNA fingerprinting. The first is from our pals, the Amoeba sisters, the second from Bozeman science.

Gel Electrophoresis (Links to an external site.)Gel Electrophoresis

DNA Fingerprinting (Links to an external site.)DNA Fingerprinting

3. Read- Prelab Exercise 14: DNA, It’s All in Our Genes and substitute the following for the website listed under Figure 1 on page 4. This website contains the virtual electrophoresis laboratory exercise you need to complete this activity in the pre lab.

https://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/labs/gel/ (Links to an external site.)

4. Read and complete Lab Exercise 14: DNA, Its All in Our Genes and submit the Skill Check Exercise 14: DNA Its All in Our Genes for grading.

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