How Many Cats
A CIBT Lab Exercise in Molecular Biology
In this paper simulation, students will "cut" DNA samples from a mother, a baby, a husband, and a rape suspect using a restriction endonuclease. They will then "run" the DNA fragments on a "gel" to simulate the process of electrophoresis. A fluorescent probe is then washed over the gel. Finally, students will analyze the gel to identify the father of the baby.
Biology, Honors Biology, Advanced Placement Biology.
Teacher Preparation: Minimal. In Class: One standard class period to perform the simulation and one standard period to discuss the results.
- large sheet of paper or poster board for gel (at least 60 cm x 80 cm) - This lab can also be done using an overhead projector and transparencies. Click on Tips for this Lab
- scissors and tape (or glue)
- set of base sequences representing the "Standards," "Mother DNA," "Child DNA," "Suspect DNA," and "Husband DNA"
- set of "Probe" sequences copied onto brightly colored paper envelopes to act as wells to hold restriction fragments
Price: No Charge
Ellen S. Mayo, Douglas Freeman High School, Richmond, VA
Anthony J. Bertino, Canandaigua Academy, Canandaigua, NY
Rita Calvo, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY