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Forensic DNA

Students use gel electrophoresis to compare DNA fingerprints

Who is it for: Key stage 4 and post-16
Duration: 90 minutes
DNA fingerprints are covered in this key-stage-4 schools' workshop.

Discover how forensic scientists analyse DNA found at crime scenes to help them solve crimes.

Students use gel electrophoresis to compare DNA fingerprints from three suspects to a sample found at a crime scene and determine which of the suspects might have committed the crime.

Curriculum links

Key stage 4 and post-16
  • KS4 Science - Cell Biology, Evolution, inheritage and variation, working scientifically.
  • AS/A Level Biology - Biological molecules, Genetics, Forensics
  • OCR AS & Level biology: PAG 6.2 Electrophoresis of DNA fragments for analysis.
  • Edexcel Level 3 Advanced GCE (A level) Biology A: Core practical 14: Use gel electrophoresis to separate DNA fragments of different lengths.

By the end of the workshops students will have discovered:

DNA fingerprint icon.

How the unique DNA fingerprint of a suspect can be used to link them to the scene of a crime.

Test tube icon

How to carry out key lab techniques using specialist equipment.

Enzyme icon.

How restriction enzymes are used to select the relevant sections of DNA for analysis. (enzyme)

Life logo icon

How electrophoresis can be used to analyse DNA samples.