Hot Science and MSU for a Day

Belgrade High School students learn about research happenings in Yellowstone National Park and become skilled at DNA collection and precipitation

Hot Science! Coordinator, Monica Brelsford, lead five hands-on classes of DNA extraction at Belgrade High School during the MSU for a Day program on November 28th. The students learned about research happenings in Yellowstone National Park, and the pathway of a research scientist at MSU. Then, the students learned how to collect and precipitate their very own DNA!  This lesson plan was fine tuned by Anneke Metz, a TBI faculty member, and it takes about 40 minutes to complete.  DNA contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all living organisms.  Every cell in every organism has a copy of this essential information.  Within the human body there are 50-100 trillion cells, and each cell contains a micro-thin strand of DNA that is approximately 6 feet long.  If we straighten out and line up all the DNA end to end of  just one human, that DNA would be long enough to stretch to the sun and back 610 times!  Advancements in technology have enabled DNA sequencing to be used to identify new species, and understand genetic relatedness among different species.  DNA sequencing has allowed us to create the “Tree of Life” and has increased our understanding of evolution and speciation.