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DNA Fingerprinting MiniLab


This popular DNA fingerprinting MiniLab helps biology students develop an understanding of gel electrophoresis and environmental science principles while helping a whale calf identify which whale is her father.

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Students gain the complete hands-on experience of pouring, loading, and running a gel while diving into real-world genetics and conservation biology. Students learn how DNA banding patterns can reveal the history and heritage of an individual, whether whale or human, while observing DNA separation in real time.

  • Develop an understanding of gel electrophoresis and its principles
  • Analyze results and deduce a probable outcome by using molecular tools, such as restriction enzymes
  • Students cast, load, and run their own agarose gels and watch DNA band separation in real time
  • Mammals inherit half their genome from their mother and half from their father. Students use this fact to trace the parentage of a baby whale
  • Large numbers of bands present a challenge for visual pattern recognition – learn how a qualitative result can be made exact through precise and logical analysis
  • Store in the refrigerator; GelGreen™ Cups should be left in the original package and protected from light; guaranteed stable for six months with proper storage

Materials included in each MiniLab

Each MiniLab contains enough materials for 10 workstations, 2 – 3 students per workstation.

  • 10 1% agarose GelGreen™ Cups
  • 5 DNA samples
  • 1 bottle of 100 ml Tris-Borate-EDTA (TBE) buffer concentrate, enough to make 2L of 1X running buffer
  • 1 bag of 0.65 ml microcentrifuge tubes
  • 1 bag of 2-200 µl micropipette tips
  • 1 Teacher's guide

Teaching resources

Teacher's guide, student guide and classroom handouts to get the most out of your DNA Fingerprinting Kit.