Middle (Advanced)

Stop the Outbreak! (Advanced)

Solve a Mystery Using DNA Fingerprinting

Students are presented with a real-world scenario involving a possible common source for an outbreak of infectious gastroenteritis among people who recently went on a field trip to a food festival. Students compare DNA fingerprints from simulated samples collected from the food vendors and an infected patient. Students load gels and use electrophoresis to separate DNA fragments in the samples by size. By comparing the banding patterns (the DNA fingerprint) of the samples collected from the food vendors to the DNA from the infected patient, they identify the source of the outbreak.


This module is appropriate for students in Grades 6 and up.


The minimum time required to complete this module is 90 minutes.


For more information, please refer to the Next Generation Science Standards for Stop the Outbreak! (Advanced).