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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

CMS students explore DNA

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Enthusiasm soared as CMS students Brennon Prentice (left) and Emily Cosgrove (right) extracted DNA from bananas and their own cheek cells. Photo contributed
Extracting and eating DNA captivated 7th grade Cherokee students studying genetics with the ISU Biotechnology Outreach Education Center on April 15. Cherokee Middle School Science teacher Diane Rochleau's students worked together to prepare banana solutions to extract DNA from the samples. ISU Biotechnology Center's Outreach Educator, Mike Zeller and ISU Extension 4-H & Youth Field Specialist, Carol Ehlers worked to expand the science curriculum. The partnership with Cherokee Middle School's classes allows students to experience the technology and to gain a greater understanding for genetics. The "Savvy Evidence" classroom experience associates the lab activity with current genetic topics.

"Wow! That's really DNA?" Students' enthusiasm soared as they extracted DNA from bananas while engaging in the ISU Biotechnology activity that helps them understand how scientists find the genes responsible for their own human traits and genetic disorders. Students also learned about some of the latest genetic technology.

Zeller led students through an understanding of the decision-making process associated with the collection and use of DNA and related ethics. Students learned how to use equipment and techniques associated with modern day forensics.

"ISU Extension and ISU Biotechnology Outreach Center's support has made a significant impact on our students' interest in the sciences and many students now see science as a possible career," said Cherokee Middle school teacher, Diane Rochleau.

"No topic touches people as personally or profoundly as this one. We all wonder about the possibilities and uses that new biological technologies offer. The ISU Biotechnology initiative will help students think about the implications to personal uses and future employment opportunities," said Zeller.

To find out more about the ISU Biotechnology Outreach Education Center, visit www.biotech.iastate.edu or contact the local ISU Extension Cherokee County Extension Office at 712-225-6196 or ISU Extension Northwest Area Youth Field Specialist, Carol Ehlers at 1-877-281-5397.

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