Unit 7: Molecular Genetics Much of modern biological inquiry has to do with understanding genes, their functions, and how they work together to produce a tangible result. The activities below focus on experimental manipulation of genes in the form of recombination to allow rapid study of genetic function or to provide quick solutions for undesirable genetic combinations in agriculture or medicine.
Unit 7 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 2 hours to complete.
Unit7 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:
- Describe some simple aspects of gene function and inheritance. - Describe techniques that manipulate genes. - Design experiments to examine or alter gene function.
Reading: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: “The Basics of Recombinant DNA” Link: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: “The Basics of Recombinant DNA” (HTML)
Instructions: Please read this page to learn about recombinant DNA and how it is created. Once you have completed the reading, please take the quiz linked at the bottom of the page.
Interactive Lab: Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s “Transgenic Fly Virtual Lab” Link: Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s “Transgenic Fly Virtual Lab” (Shockwave)
Instructions: This resource is optional. If your computer supports Shockwave, please click through this tutorial to learn how genomes are artificially recombined in the lab. Then answer the following questions:
1) How would you test for a gene’s function?
2) How might recombination techniques be useful for this purpose?
Check your answers against the Saylor Foundation’s “Answer Guide 7.” (PDF)
Assessment: University of Arizona: The Biology Project’s “Recombinant DNA Technology Problem Set” Link: University of Arizona: The Biology Project’s “Recombinant DNA Technology Problem Set” (HTML)
Instructions: Please complete this problem set to show your understanding of recombinant DNA technology. If at any point you do not understand the question, or know the answer, click on the “Tutorial” button below the answer choices for further information.