Blackett Family DNA Activity 2


DNA Analyst Bob Blackett has graciously provided The Biology Project with sample data from his own work. In this activity, you will learn the concepts and techniques behind DNA profiling of the 13 core CODIS "Short Tandem Repeat" loci used for the national DNA databank. You will then have the opportunity to collect and interpret actual STR data, and to answer one or more of the following questions:

  1. How is STR data used in a DNA Paternity Test?
  2. How can STR data from close relatives be used to create a genetic profile of a missing person?
  3. How much genetic diversity exists among siblings?
  4. How does one calculate the probability for a specific DNA profile?

Alternatively, you may wish to create your own activities, based on some suggestions for open-ended inquiry that are offered below.

This activity is aimed at students with a basic knowledge of DNA structure, Mendelian genetics, and human pedigree analysis. A good preparation for this activity would be to review our problem sets and tutorials in Human Biology.

The Science of STR DNA Profile Analysis

DNA structure What is a Short Tandem Repeat Polymorphism (STR)?

What are the 13 core CODIS loci?

Methods of Analysis of STRs

Genetics of STR Inheritance

DNA Profile Frequency Calculations

Structured Inquiry Activities for Students

Some representative activities involving data collection, interpretation, and analysis using Bob Blackett's data.

pedigree chart Create a Blackett Family Pedigree

Collecting STR DNA profile data

Paternity Testing with STR Data

DNA Profile of a "Missing Person"

DNA Profile Frequency Calculations

Open Ended Activities for Students

Here we suggest some starting points for in depth exploration of the topic of STR DNA profiling. If you have additional suggestions for this section, contact the author about including open-ended inquiry that you have developed for your students. If selected, we will cite you and your school.

Introduction : Overview | STR P | CODIS | Analysis | Inheritance | Frequency Calc.

Activities : Pedigree | Collect data | Paternity testing | Missing person | RCMP freq. calc.

The Biology Project
University of Arizona
October 27, 2000
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