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.

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