Biology UNIT 3 : DNA Manipulation and Genetic Technologies


DNA manipulation techniques and applications.

Learners apply their knowledge to the structure and function of the DNA molecule to examine how molecular tools and techniques can be used to manipulate the molecule for a particular purpose.

Program Overview

In this area of study students investigate the tools and techniques that can be used to manipulate DNA, explain how biological knowledge is applied to biotechnical applications, and analyse the interrelationship between scientific knowledge and its applications in society.

  • Part One: Transforming Bacteria: Students will create a recombinant plasmid containing insulin and pGlo, then transform the plasmid into E. coli and plate out the transgenic bacteria.
  • Part Two: Plasmid Digest, PCR and Gel Electrophoresis: Students will digest the plasmid to isolate insulin, run samples through the PCR machine and then run a gel to confirm that the plasmid was recombinant and contained insulin.

Curriculum Focus

VCE Biology Unit 3 – AOS 1: Outcome 1: What is the role of nucleic acids and proteins in maintaining life?

These programs address the following DNA Manipulation study design dot points:

  • the use of enzymes to manipulate DNA, including polymerase to synthesise DNA, ligase to join DNA and endonucleases to cut DNA
  • amplification of DNA using polymerase chain reaction and the use of gel electrophoresis in sorting DNA fragments, including the interpretation of gel runs for DNA profiling
  • the use of recombinant plasmids as vectors to transform bacterial cells as demonstrated by the production of human insulin

This program includes a pre-work activity investigating the bioethics of sourcing insulin from cows and pigs, that will be sent with booking confirmation.