AP Biology lab

Kati Blaylock

More stories from Kati Blaylock

Using the micropipette, junior Elize Jantz puts a new tip on the device.

On Jan 27, students in Advanced Placement (AP) Biology prepared a ‘crime scene lab’ in order to see how different suspects DNA compares to those  of a crime scene using different restriction enzymes. Restriction enzymes cut DNA at a certain sequence to make strands of DNA.

“The lab was very fun. I learned a lot,” junior Elise Jantz said. “It made me understand DNA replication better with seeing how the enzymes worked.”

After preparing the DNA with enzymes, students used micropipettes, a tool used to measure microliters, for a more accurate measurement. Once they had the right amount, they loaded them into a well in an electrophoresis, a tool used for spreading out DNA fragments in order to analyze it better.

“[I hope students] gain knowledge about the techniques, like micropipetting, that would be used in a biotechnology lab setting,” AP Biology teacher Jerry Epp said. “It’s a good way to demonstrate how DNA can be manipulated and analyzed.”

After loading the wells, students used the DNA fragments collected from the suspects and the crime scene to confirme who committed the murder.

“I think my favorite part about this lab was filling the wells with the DNA,” junior Claire Preheim said. “It was a fun new process and I liked the tools we used.”