Year 12 Human Biology/Biology program 


Searching for Mutations with PCR

Activity duration: 5 hours
Price per student:

  • $50 per student for 20 or more 
  • Less than 20 students: a flat fee of $1000 applies
Max class size: 30 students

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DISCOVER how to: amplify a human gene with PCR, visualise the product with gel electrophoresis and identify the mutation with gene sequencing. 

The students’ day at the Perkins includes sessions hosted by research scientists, using research-grade equipment and reagents. They will better understand how mutations can be identified by PCR, electrophoresis and sequencing.

In the lab, students will explore, how to amplify the potentially mutated BRAF gene of three patients. The identification of this mutation can lead to improved treatment options for people with melanoma.

The lab offers students the opportunity to set up a PCR reaction to amplify the BRAF gene, followed by electrophoresis to visualize the outcome. They will learn first-hand from melanoma patients how advances in research directly affect their lives.

Curriculum Links

Human Biology Year 12 | Unit 4 Human Variation and Evolution

SU statements: Mutations in genes and chromosomes can result from errors in DNA replication, cell division or from damage caused by mutagens.

SHE statements: Developments in biotechnology have increased access to genetic information of species, populations and individuals, existing now or in the past, the interpretation and use of which may be open to ethical considerations.

SIS statements: Conduct investigations, including the use of virtual or real biotechnology techniques of PCR, gel electrophoresis for DNA sequencing.

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