One-day Research Technique Workshops in Genetics and Forensic Science will be offered by faculty for freshman or sophomore biology or chemistry students who have completed one year Introduction to Biology courses in December 2017.
Each workshop will have 16 slots due to the space and equipment limits. Perspective participants need to register online to provide student’s basic information, academic background such as major, year of enrollment and the choice of the workshop. At the end of the day, all participants will receive a certificate of successfully completed 8-hour workshop in perspective area and will be required to assess the workshop in a brief online questionaire.
Exploring DNA Fingerprints in Forensics
This workshop introduces students to the use of DNA fingerprint in forensic investigations and provides them with hands-on experience performing gel electrophoresis. In the process, students will learn the concept that although the human genome is highly conserved, there is variation between individuals. In the lab, students will pour the gel and load DNA samples which represent PCR fragments generated from the DNA of three crime suspects, the victim, and the evidence found on the victim. Once the gels have been run and stained, students will analyze the DNA banding patterns and compare the patterns generated from the suspects’ DNA with the pattern generated from the evidence DNA. This will enable students to determine which of those three suspects more likely committed the crime.
DNA Extraction and Amplification of Mitochondrial DNA
The workshop introduce students to extract mitochondrial DNA from their cheek cells or hair, Thermocycler to amplify DNA in vitro (PCR) and perform DNA analysis using restriction enzymes. In the process, students will learn the concept of the mitochondrial genome, why it is important, and the difference between mtDNA and nuclear DNA. This experiment amplify the sequence within the hyper-variable region of the mitochondrial genome. Students will acquire the knowledge and learn tools to identify their mitochondrial DNA. Concepts explored in this workshop include haplotyping, evolution, and the application of PCR technology.
The workshops are supported through MS INBRE, funded by an Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under grant number P20GM103476.