Use heredity and biotechnology to explore colorectal cancer
Create a real-world connection
- Construct accurate pedigrees across multiple generations
- Perform genetic testing using gel electrophoresis
- Explore the ethical dilemmas associated with genetic testing
Engaging students with a real-world impact
This lab provides students experience in drawing and interpreting a family pedigree in regards to a specific form of inherited colorectal cancer. The students then complete a DNA-based diagnostic test, using gel electrophoresis, of samples from the fictitious family to identify which members have inherited the cancer-causing mutation. After deciphering their results, students are tasked with taking on the role of a genetic counselor in charge of speaking with the family about the results.
Cancer diagnostics and treatments are on the front line of the biotechnological revolution. Researchers and clinicians are identifying new methods to identify the genes implicated in the cancer pathway and are applying the knowledge of those genes to develop targeted therapies. This laboratory exercise looks at genes linked to hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) and explores the connection between family medical history and testing for mutations in these genes.
Effortlessly incorporate into your classroom
This lab kit is designed to include all of the materials and background information you need to easily incorporate it into any course. The activity complements a study of the cell cycle and mitosis or a unit about genetic patterns of inheritance. Kit is designed for 32 students working in groups of 4. Requires 3 lab periods (4560 min) and 1 discussion session to complete. The gel electrophoresis portion of the lab is available with your choice of CarolinaBLU™ or GelGreen™ DNA stain. Note: Sold only to schools and businesses.