Applying genetic knowledge in prenatal and predictive genetic testing – At GTAC

Full day program


VCE402-main-image-Tree&DNAExploring chromosome abnormalities: Students model meiosis to explore gamete formation and non-disjunction for formation of gametes with incorrect chromosome numbers. They view the results of Fluorescence In Situ Hybridisation experiments to diagnose chromosome abnormalities.

Using DNA in genetic testing: Students perform a Guthrie test to diagnose patients with the Phenylketonuria (PKU) phenotype. They investigate the inheritance of this disease through examination of a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) that results in an allele of the Phenylalanine hydroxylase gene coding for a defective enzyme. Using models, students investigate the SNP in the mutant allele and find that it introduces a cutting site for a restriction enzyme. Students perform a DNA digest and gel electrophoresis to determine the PKU allele status for a family and use their results to construct a family tree. Students test products for the presence of Phenylalanine to determine if they should be eliminated from the diet of a person with PKU.

Assessment Note: Results gathered in this program can serve as context for assessment requirements within Unit 1, Outcome 2. This program has been designed so students can practice constructing a report of an investigation into genetics (practice for Unit 1, AOS2, outcome 3).


Level - Unit 2 VCE Biology

Venue - At GTAC in Parkville

Timing – Full day program: runs 9:30am – 2:45pm with a one hour lunch break

Approximate dates – Selected dates in Term 2 and 3 2018


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Program designers - Dr Nicole Webster, Jacinta Duncan & Chris Szwed