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Main Curriculum Tie:
Plastic or paper cups
Meat Tenderizer or Salt
Average Salary = $25,000 - $40,000/year
Educational Requirements Biotechnology Technicians must have an Associates degree from a community college or junior college.
Higher quality milk & cheese (lower fat, more protein)
Forensics and evidence analysis
Using microbes to clean up oil spills and toxic waste
Antibiotics and other medications
Bioenergy fuel from plants, wood grain, ethanol
Ask how many students can curl their tongues many will be able to, but some will not. Why? How did we get this ability?
It is an inherited trait. We got the trait/ability from our parents. What is it that transfers traits from our parents to us? GENES give our cells instructions for building our bodies (eye color, hair color, etc.)
Genes are made up of DNA. DNA contains the instructions for making an organism, including YOU! Your DNA determines how you look, what blood type you have, even your tendency to get some diseases. Your DNA is unique no one else has your exact same DNA (unless you are an identical twin). If the DNA for just one cell of your body could be laid out end to end, it would measure 6 feet long.
In this activity, you will isolate your very own DNA from your cheek cells. Its easy and painless cheek cells are continuously being sloughed off.
2. Have the students swish the salt water in their mouths for 30 seconds. This amount of swishing will become quite laborious hang in there. When 30 seconds are up, have the spit the water back into their cups.
3. Give students a vial with a few drops of liquid detergent already in it. Now have them pipette or pour some of their cheek cell solution into the vial fill the vial about ½ way.
4. Cap the vials and have the students gently rock the vial on its side for 2-3 minutes. It is important that they are not too vigorous while mixing. Try to avoid creating too many bubbles. The detergent breaks open the cell membranes to release the DNA into the soap solution.
5. Uncap the vial and have student drop in a pinch of enzymes (meat tenderizer). Enzymes are proteins that help chemical reactions happen more quickly.
6. Now tilt the tubes slightly and pipette about 1 teaspoon of chilled rubbing alcohol into the vials. Try to pour it gently down the side of the vial so that it forms a layer on top of the cheek cell mixture. DO NOT MIX THIS! The alcohol dehydrates and precipitates the DNA.
7. Let the vials stand for a minute or two.
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