Featured in PASCO’s Advanced Biology through Inquiry Teacher Guide
This manual features 22 challenging, standards-based, inquiry lab activities for AP, IB, and honors programs.
Students use electrophoresis to analyze DNA samples from a child and the child’s parents to determine if the child has inherited a mutation in the gene for hemoglobin B.
Many genetic disorders can be detected and diagnosed by a method employing polymerase chain reaction (PCR), restriction enzymes, and electrophoresis. Genetic tests often rely on digesting DNA with a restriction enzyme, which can cut within a normal gene sequence but not within the mutated sequence, resulting in different lengths of DNA. Electrophoresis separates DNA fragments based on the sizes of the fragments.
In this lab, students use electrophoresis to analyze DNA samples (previously treated with a restriction enzyme) from a child and the child’s parents to determine if the child has inherited a mutation in the gene for hemoglobin B (HBB). The mutation causes sickle cell anemia, a common form of sickle cell disease, in homozygous individuals.
This experiment may require software and an interface for data collection.