Central Dogma: Strawberry DNA Lab Prep

In our continued study of Central Dogma, we set our sites on extracting DNA from strawberries.  To prepare for the lab, students watched two videos explaining the DNA extraction procedure (both produced by the North Carolina Community Colleges group NCBioNetwork.org).  The first video, produced 5 years ago, provides students with a straight-forward approach to extracting DNA.  Students watched the video and wrote down as many details as they could.

After watching the video, we assembled one class procedure “crowd-sourced” from the all of the student notes. Missing from the original video are some of the details explaining how the reagents in the extraction solution actually work. NCBioNetwork recently reduced a newer version of the video, complete with dramatic effects and a really awful script. Because the content in the newer video added to student understanding, we elected to watch and then updated the class procedure after.

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At the end of the second video, students learned that human DNA varies by only 0.1% from person to person.  For the final segment of class, students watched a thought-provoking video about a scientist who has combined a variety of tools and technologies to turn DNA from hair into portraits using 3-D printing.

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