Is DNA the future of data storage? – TED- Ed Leo Bear-McGuinness

In the event of a nuclear fallout, every piece of digital and written information could all be lost. Luckily, there is a way that all of human history could be recorded and safely stored beyond the civilization’s end. Continue reading

Teacher Demo: Marshmallow DNA Model

This demonstration will provide students with a visual representation of the structure of DNA.  Students will learn the different components that make a nucleotide, the correct base-pair connection between nitrogenous bases, and visually see the double helix structure of DNA.

What happens?

In this demonstration, students will visually see what a DNA molecule looks like.  They will be able to determine the different components that makes up a nucleotide (phosphate, deoxyribose sugar, and nitrogenous base), will learn the correct base-pairing of bases in DNA (adenine always bonds with thymine and cytosine always bonds with guanine), will learn how many hydrogen bonds occur between each base pair, and will learn that phosphodiester linkages are formed between phosphate groups and deoxyribose sugars.  Students will also be able to identify the major groove and the minor groove in the double helix once the molecule is twisted.

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Fish Market Survey Action Project – Curiocity


Is the fish on your plate what you think it is?

Food is an extremely important part of our lives. People are concerned about the rising cost of food and where their food comes from. Consumers want to know if they are getting what they pay for. Beginning in September 2016, senior biology and science students across Canada will be able to use free DNA barcoding kits to find out!

Interested?  Click here for more details 

Genetically Modified Humans? CRISPR/Cas 9 Explained – YouTube

Fans of Blade Runner have already caught a glimpse of world with super-powered humans secretly living among us, capable of physical feats far beyond your everyday person. But now, with the the CRISPR/CAS9 Gene editing system, are we looking at a future with real replicants? Check out this video to get an inside look at how CRISPR works, and the sorts of wild medical advances that are on the horizon.

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DNA Extraction Lab

dnaWritten by Nicholas Lessard, a 2015 STAO Galbraith Award winner.

In my practicum, I was fortunate to have had the chance to teach a very small class of grade 12 biology students.  I wanted my very first class to be a fun one to help build rapport with the students before delving into the more challenging material of the molecular genetics unit that I was teaching. The activity that I chose to do was a strawberry DNA extraction. This activity is quite simple and can even be done with younger students to get them interested in DNA structure.  For the grade 12 university biology class, this activity most directly addressed specific expectation D2.3 of the molecular genetics strand:  Conduct an investigation to extract DNA from a specimen of plant or animal protein.

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