Biotechnology in the Classroom
As part of the Year 12 ATAR Human Biology course, students study a unit on biotechnology. The girls have just completing DNA profiling using gel electrophoresis kits. This is usually done in specialised forensic labs.
In a mock investigation, the girls were provided with a situation where fish meat has been seized from a boat found fishing illegally in Australian waters. The Department for Parks and Wildlife wanted to see if the meat seized contained minke whale, which is a protected species.
The girls carried out a DNA profiling technique on the samples seized. Students used micropipettes to dispense a very small sample into the gel, requiring excellent fine motor skills, a skill that needed practise.
By looking for matches in the banding patterns of the DNA, they were able to determine that there was evidence of minke meat.