Family Science Investigation: Biotech – Using PCR & Electrophoresis to Solve a Nature Mystery
A natural-science-research-mystery simulation: Dr. Horvath, studies lemurs in Madagascar. She has seen a troop of ring-tailed lemurs in the forest and would like to know the makeup of the troop. Male and female ring-tailed lemurs look alike, and she does not want to approach or handle these wild animals. Instead, she has gathered DNA samples from them by collecting scat (feces) from the area where the troop was observed on the ground. DNA was isolated from these samples and sent to us. Each student will get a tube of DNA from a different lemur and will determine its gender/sex. Students will use PCR to make many copies of a specific part of the genome, then view the results by electrophoresis, thus determining the gender ratio of males to females in the troop. (No fecal samples will be handled – samples are simulations).
Family Science Investigations programs offer families an opportunity to participate together in monthly science classes related to Museum research, including topics in ecology, paleontology, geology and biology. These classes are especially useful for homeschoolers looking for additional reinforcement to curriculum goals, or any family group that simply enjoys learning together!
Program Instructor: Deb Bailey and Christy Flint, Coordinators for Micro World investigate Lab.
Registration information: Fill out online, print and mail the Museum’s Registration Form with payment.
For more information contact Debbie Huston, scheduling coordinator, at 919.707.9840.
All classes are made available through the generosity of a grant from the Biogen Idec Foundation.