Activity_1.1.3_Identifying_a_Pathogen--Mixed_4.docx - Activity 1.1.3 Using DNA to Identify Pathogens INTRODUCTION Computer advances now let researchers

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Activity 1.1.3 Using DNA to Identify Pathogens INTRODUCTION Computer advances now let researchers search through extensive sequence databases to find gene variations that could lead to disease, to track strains of various viruses or bacteria, and to design 3-D models of important human proteins. Bioinformatics is the field of science that combines biology, computers, and information technology to store and analyze genetic data. In this course, you will observe many of the medical interventions that are made possible by the teaming of computers and biology. Bioinformatics can be used to help identify infectious agents, such as viruses and bacteria, involved in disease outbreaks . In 1990, scientists working on the Human Genome Project embarked on a mission to map the human genome , the complete genetic layout of a human being. Through this project, completed in 2003, scientists have determined the complete nucleotide sequence of the DNA of each human chromosome. In addition to mapping human DNA, the Human Genome Project has helped map the genomes of other species, including mice, the fruit fly, and various bacteria. Knowing the nucleotide sequence of other living organisms, especially viruses and bacteria, allows scientists to identify and research potential pathogens . Modern techniques also allow scientists to store the DNA sequence of living organisms in large computer databases. DNA sequencing used to be an extremely tedious task. Computer technology has automated the process. This data is now compiled and submitted to national molecular databases, where scientists and the general public can view and explore the genetic information. Samples of Sue's blood, urine, and lymph were collected at the first infirmary visit and sent off for diagnostic laboratory tests. As part of a pilot study, the college infirmary is working with the molecular biology department at the college to identify pathogens by their DNA sequences. You've been asked to help them process Sue’s samples and find out the pathogen making Sue sick. Additional students are showing up at the infirmary. Time is running out, and it is up to you to determine what is causing the outbreak on campus. In this activity, you will explore the process of DNA sequencing, process and analyze DNA sequence data for the pathogen plaguing Sue Smith, and use your additional research and lab data to help make a diagnosis. The sooner you know what is making Sue ill, the sooner you can treat her, and take steps to stop the spread of disease on campus. EQUIPMENT Computer with internet access Laboratory journal DNA Sequencing video
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RESOURCES Activity 1.1.3 Student Resource Sheet Outbreak Investigation Day 2 Automated DNA Sequence Data Procedure Part I: New Patient Information 1. Obtain a Student Resource Sheet — Day 2. 2. Analyze the new patient information, as well as information about Sue Smith’s additional symptoms.
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  • Fall '16
  • Joseph Begeny
  • DNA, Laboratory journal, Sue

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