START HERE: Learn and Practice BLAST
Description: Students will use BLAST to identify an organism based on a DNA sequence. BLAST is an open-access online program that compares sequences (e.g. unknown sequences) to all sequences in the genetic database, in order to find matches. If an unknown sequence perfectly matches a sequence in the database, then you have discovered the identity of your unknown (both the specific gene and the species that it came from). Prior to any of the other activities on this page, students should be able to use BLAST for using DNA sequences to identify species. NOTE: if it has been a while since students have BLASTed a sequence, you may want to use this activity as a refresher. 

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School Microbes

 

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Federal Fish Activity (+ additional federal agency research activity)
Description: In this activity, students make judgements about fish production violations using DNA sequencing information. Students also describe the mission, origins, and role of the USFWS, FDA, and CDC. Finally, students develop a plan to prevent fish production voliations. (NOTE: students unfamiliar with BLAST should first complete the "Learn and Practice BLAST" activity posted above).

Federal Fish Activity (variation without additional research activity)
Description: In this activity, students make judgements about fish production violations using DNA sequencing information taking the perspective of one assigned federal agency (CDC, FDA, or USFWS). Students also develop a plan to prevent fish production violations. (NOTE: students unfamiliar with BLAST should first complete the "Learn and Practice BLAST" activity).

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Other Resources + Handouts