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Molecular biology

Project day for experiments

Molecular biology

Molecular biology

Project day for experiments

Molecular biology

Molecular biology

Project day for experiments

Molecular biology

Molecular biology

Project day for experiments

Molecular biology

Project description

Horsemeat in lasagna, plastic in baby milk – such reports in the media cause insecurity among youngsters and adults. Can we still trust the labels on our food? And how can the contents be checked?

 

A group of pupils from the 11th grade of a high school in Landsberg (Ignaz-Kögler-Gymnasium) pursued these questions. They employed modern, molecular biological methods on various foodstuffs, including cheese, minced meat, salami and cat food, to see whether they really came from cows.

Firstly the hereditary molecule DNA was isolated from the samples. The DNA of various living organisms share certain similarities, depending on how closely related they are. It was thus necessary to take the long hereditary molecules and find the sections specific to cows. These sections were then reproduced using a PCR machine – a molecular copier. With the aid of heat-resistant enzymes, the PCR machine generated approx. 2*1,010 copies per sample – a number which can already be rendered visible by gel electrophoresis.

The pupils felt reassured at the end, as almost all samples contained the hereditary material from cows.

Project details

Topic: Project day

Age category: 12-18 years

Venue: School

Duration: 1 day

 

Participation requirements: Maximum of 30 school students

Project funding

The Frank Hirschvogel Foundation assumed the costs for the material and equipment.

 

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