Genetics & DNA Lab
Although this kit does include the popular "isolate DNA from a fruit or vegetable" experiment, it also contains manipulatives and activities that explore Mendel's Rules of Heredity, cell structure, chromosomes, DNA structure and duplication, codons and amino acids, and bacterial growth as it is related to genetic engineering. In fact, it's a great accompaniment to any textbook unit or stand-alone course on genetics. The 48-page experiment manual is at the heart of the kit, and includes all of the activity procedures, explanations, and a fun background story about bank robbers who leave drops of blood and cigarettes at the scene of the crime. There are 20 experiments or activities in all, although some of them are parts of the same multi-phase project. The kit kicks off with the showstopper project, isolating DNA from a tomato. Now that young researchers have "seen" and "touched" actual DNA, they expand their knowledge into genetics by exploring the rules of heredity with colored chips and a Punnett Square, organize chromosome cards into pairs, build a DNA model, show how DNA duplication works using their model, determining all possible base combinations, understanding genetic fingerprinting as used in solving crimes, and growing bacteria. All special materials are included, and household items that are also required are printed in italics in each experiment. Quiz questions are found throughout the booklet, camouflaged behind a red pattern, and a red transparent sheet is included to view the answers. With this kit's detailed explanations and specialized equipment, this is an excellent companion to learning about genetics. Jess
Head into the lab for an in-depth investigation of genetics, the branch of biology focused on heredity and variation in organisms, and DNA, the acid that holds the blueprints for life. See genetic material with your own eyes as you isolate the DNA from a tomato in a test tube. Investigate inheritance and learn how traits are passed down from parents to children. Learn about dominant and recessive genes and play inheritance games to determine how traits will be expressed. Learn about the biology of reproduction, the components of cells, and how chromosomes are combined and copied. Assemble a model to see the elegant double-stranded helical structure of DNA. Then crack the genetic code and find out how the different parts, called nucleotides, fit together. Analyze DNA evidence to identify suspects and solve a crime. Breed your own bacteria colony to experiment with survival of the fittest. Read about how mutation affects genes and how scientists clone plants and animals. Full-color, 48-page manual.