ABO-Rh Blood Typing with Synthetic Blood

Give your students the opportunity to experience realistic blood typing without any of the risks. Students get the opportunity to test 4 unknown blood samples as they explore basic concepts of immunology. 

Paternity Test

An alleged father denies responsibility and refuses to pay child support. Is he the biological father? Identify him - using simulated anti-A, anti-B, anti-D (Rh) sera to determine the ABO/Rh blood groups of a mother and child and 3 possible fathers. Students use their data and knowledge of genetics. 

Blood Typing

Each student learns his or her own genetically determined blood group using monoclonal (nonhuman) anti-A, B, and D (Rh) sera. 

Frequency of Blood Types with Synthetic Blood 

Students play the role of a research team that is studying the blood-type frequencies of a population on an isolated island. Students try to determine if the natives are related to the people on nearby islands. Does the islanders' mythology hold clues to their history? The simulated agglutination reactions are extremely realistic.

Transfusion Matching with Synthetic Blood 

Students act as clinical blood technicians in a hospital emergency room. Can they supply the medical team with the correct blood-type information to save the life of an accident victim? The simulated agglutination reactions are extremely realistic. 

Blood Detection

Blood-stained clothing is sometimes the only piece of evidence left at a crime scene. This simple test enables students to distinguish between human blood and substances that look like blood. 

Blood Group Identification

Blood grouping is an important identification procedure performed in clinical and criminal investigations. Using anti-A, anti-B, and anti-D (Rh) sera, students determine the blood groups of 4 different, unidentified aseptic red blood cell suspensions.

Whose Baby?

If an infant's identification tag becomes misplaced, how can mother and child be reunited? With this kit, students can find out while learning fundamental blood genetics. Students use simulated anti-A and anti-B sera to determine the ABO blood groups of 2 possible mothers and 3 babies. Using their data and knowledge of genetics, they reunite an infant with its mother. 

Hemoglobin Determination

Students determine their blood hemoglobin content using the specific gravity method. 

Blood Group Genetics with Synthetic Blood

Students act as blood geneticists at a medical laboratory and serve as expert witnesses in a case of disputed inheritance. Throughout the activity, they must master basic genetic concepts including multiple alleles, codominance, and the relationship of genotype to phenotype. 

Forensics Mystery with Synthetic Blood 

Students perform a simulated test for presence of blood on evidence collected from 2 suspects in a murder case. They then use synthetic blood typing to test whether either suspect can be linked to the crime. 

Disorder Detectives

Disorder Detectives is sure to engage your students and pique their interest in the impact of chromosome disorders on human disease. Taking on the role of cytogeneticists, students diagnose the diseases of 15 different patients using fully reusable materials, while incorporating real clinical symptoms. Students deal with a variety of abnormalities resulting from nondisjunction, deletion, inversion, and translocation.

Detecting Inherited Forms of Cancer

Cancer diagnostics and treatments are on the front line of the biotechnological revolution. Your students get into the action by taking on the roles of researcher, clinician, and genetic counselor as they attempt to diagnose a family of patients. Using pedigrees and a simulated DNA-based diagnostic, students explore the genes linked to hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) in a fictitious family.

DNA Damage: Studying the Impact of UV Light

Explaining the importance of DNA repair systems in your classroom doesn't always click with students. Help shine a light on this concept, literally, by having your students observe the impact of ultraviolet (UV) light on yeast strains. This enrichment uses 2 yeast strains, wild-type and a UV-sensitive mutant, with an inquiry-based approach to get your students talking about the importance of DNA repair systems and the impact of UV damage. 

Collecting Cancer-Causing Changes 

Let this enrichment guide your students' investigation into mutation accumulation in cells progressing toward cancer. This unique enrichment of chance and randomization lets students simulate the fate of a population of cells across multiple cell divisions. It illustrates how a population of cells becomes more varied over time, and how those changes may lead a group of cells to become more cancerous.

Comprehending Genetic Inheritance 

Students study dominant and recessive traits and observe the results of monohybrid crosses. Students then are challenged to design an experiment and perform a dihybrid cross to determine which version of 2 traits is dominant. 

Introduction to Gene Regulation: The lac Operon

Introduce your students to gene regulation with this lab enrichment focused on the lac operon. During the lab, students test the B-galactosidase levels of 3 cultures grown in the presence of glucose, lactose, or glucose and lactose. 

Genetic Kinship: Following the Globin Genes Through Time

This enrichment introduces genetic similarity and variation by evolutionary processes. Students can examine the evolution of the globin gene family with 3 dynamic activities. In the first activity, students use magnetic nucleotide bases to model DNA and RNA structure. They generate a mutation in the sequence and investigate subsequent changes in the amino acid sequence. In the second activity, students focus on gene duplication by making cladograms.

Discovering Nucleic Acids

Using pop beads, students model DNA replication, transcription, and translation. They then develop an experiment that explores types of genetic mutations and the effects mutations have on proteins. Students also observe preserved onion root tips to view cells in various stages of mitosis.

Using an Alu Insertion Polymorphism to Study Human Populations

This high-quality enrichment gives your students the opportunity to determine their own genotype by looking at a 300-nucleotide Alu insertion (PV92). The experiment is set up to ensure students succeed in making real-world connections between population genetics, evolution, DNA sequencing, and much more. 

Using a Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) to Predict Bitter Tasting Ability 

This enrichment explores the molecular basis of the inherited ability to taste the bitter chemical phenylthiocarbamide (PTC). Students determine their ability to taste PTC using taste paper. They then use safe saline mouthwash and Chelex® extraction to obtain a sample of their own DNA and amplify a 221-nucleotide region of the PTC taste receptor gene.

Gene Expression

This high-quality enrichment provides an engaging way to teach high school and college students the structure of RNA and proteins, and the processes of transcription and translation. Students use the included DNA template to construct the corresponding mRNA. With this mRNA, the model pieces, and the genetic code in the instructions, students then assemble the protein sequence coded for by the mRNA.

Human Genetics of Taste

Students investigate the frequency of genetically controlled traits within their classroom population. By exploring taste response traits and recording classroom data, students can conduct a Hardy-Weinberg analysis of their classroom. 

Mitochondrial DNA Polymorphisms in Human Evolution

Students use a classroom-friendly protocol involving saline mouthwash or a hair sample and Chelex® extraction to obtain a sample of their own DNA. This high-quality kit then has students amplify and sequence a 440-nucleotide segment of a hypervariable region of the mitochondrial chromosome.

Human Mitochondrial DNA Haplotyping Kit (AT)

Using mitochondrial DNA isolated from their cheek cells or hair, students perform PCR and a restriction enzyme digest to determine their haplotypes with respect to a locus in the mitochondrial genome. Concepts explored in this kit include haplotyping, evolution, and the application of PCR technology.

Understanding Reproduction and Chromosomes 

Students begin by exploring asexual reproduction in several live specimens along with prepared microscope slides and informative self-study cards. They progress to manipulating magnetic chromosome replicas to discover chromosome structure and how chromosomes are arranged in a human karyotype. Human karyotypes then provide a way to explore sexual reproduction and genetic disorders.

Karyotyping with Magnetic Chromosomes

Using a printed, magnetic karyotype layout board and illustrations of human chromosomes, students prepare and analyze normal and abnormal human karyotypes. They identify each magnetic chromosome and its homologous pair based upon size, centromere position, and banding pattern, then arrange them in standard karyotype format on the magnetic layout board.

Nature's Dice - A Genetic Screening Simulation

Students receive a 24-member family tree and DNA samples presumably taken from each family member. They determine the genotype of each of the relatives by cutting the DNA samples with a restriction enzyme and separating the fragments by gel electrophoresis.

Human Genetic Traits

Help your students grasp the impact of genes on phenotypic traits by investigating their frequency in the classroom. Engage your students with classical human inheritance traits like tongue rolling, widow's peak, PTC taste, and more. Using information from their own classroom data and provided research, students investigate these traits and attempt to identify whether they follow Mendelian inheritance. 

DNA Synthesis

Students build a double-stranded DNA molecule and simulate its replication. Magnets embedded in the model parts guide students in assembling the model in the correct molecular orientation. The result is a representation that shows more molecular detail than most other classroom DNA models.

Cell Communication

Using sterile technique, students culture and mix 2 strains of yeast and then use microscopes to observe interaction between the strains over their life cycles. Students further investigate mating pheromone communication by designing individual experiments.

Natural Selection

Students explore natural selection and the way in which environmental change affects the genetic traits of a population. They also examine the Hardy-Weinberg principle and the concept of genetic equilibrium.

Sordaria Genetics 

Students cross the wild-type Sordaria strain with the mutant tan strain. Hybrid asci are produced containing 4 dark- and 4 light-colored ascospores. Students then use tetrad analysis to calculate the gene to centromere distance in map units for the mutant tan gene.

Temperature-Dependent Gene Expression

Students explore the effects of environmental change on the regulation of gene expression. A gene involved in producing a red pigment is turned on (expressed) at room temperature, causing the bacteria to appear red. It is turned off (not expressed) at 37° C, causing the bacteria to appear white.

Albino Corn

With this hands-on kit students germinate and plant F2 corn seed. Investigating basic principles of inheritance in the resulting population of unique corn seedlings helps students make the connection between dominant and recessive traits. The F2 generation typically segregates in a ratio of 3 green:1 albino, allowing students to see the impact of a lethal mutation. 

Corn, Population Genetics

The Hardy-Weinberg Law states that gene frequencies remain constant in any population derived from an F2generation, provided (1) there is random mating, and (2) the several genotypes are equally viable. 

Detecting Genetically Modified Food by PCR

Explore a modern application of genetic engineering through this exciting laboratory activity. This activity investigates whether the soy or corn ingredients in various processed foods contain a genetic modification. Students isolate DNA from wild-type and GM plant material (provided controls), and from food products of their choice. They use the extracted DNA as a template in 2 separate PCR reactions run under the same conditions. Each group works with a plant control and a food product.

Population Genetics and Evolution

Using direct counting, students calculate the allele frequency of traits such as stem and leaf type in a population of Wisconsin Fast Plants®. They compare results with the calculated allele frequency determined by applying the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium model.

Corn Dihybrid Genetics

Students learn the basic principles of dihybrid inheritance and independent assortment using corn. Students first observe how traits of kernel color and nutrient composition pass from 1 generation to the next. Then they construct an hypothesis describing the mode of inheritance for each trait. 


Students learn the basic principles of inheritance within a population of 1 of the most widely used model organisms, Drosophila melanogaster. Students observe how mutations are passed from 1 generation to the next and then construct a hypothesis describing the mode of inheritance. 

Dihybrid Cross 

Students study dihybrid inheritance by crossing apterous (wingless) males with sepia (brown eye color) 

Sex-Linked Inheritance

Students study sex-linked inheritance by crossing wild-type male and white-eyed female Drosophila.

Chromosome Mapping Drosophila 

Students study crossing over and distance between genes on chromosomes. Three chromosome 1 mutants (white, miniature, and forked) are used. 

Sex-Linked Inheritance

Students study sex-linked inheritance by crossing wild-type male and white-eyed female Drosophila.

C-FERN Life Cycle 

A dynamic introduction to the life cycle of this unique plant. The exercise provides a clear illustration of organ and tissue differentiation in the developmentally simple gametophytes. Unlike many higher plants, gametophyte sexual development, swimming sperm, fertilization, and embryo development are directly visible using a stereomicroscope and simple culture equipment.

C-FERN Asexual and Sexual Reproduction

Students explore asexual and sexual reproduction with this kit. Over the course of 2 weeks, they observe asexual reproduction in planaria and sexual reproduction in C-FERN. They also use beads to model the processes of asexual and sexual reproduction at the chromosomal level.

Genetics in Action: Mendelian Genetics 

Students visualize basic principles of Mendelian inheritance in C-FERN® by following the segregation of a visible marker, polka dot, in both the F1 gametophyte and F2 sporophyte generations. Students sow spores of an F1 hybrid (wild type x polka dot) to produce F1 gametophytes. By adding water to mature F1gametophytes, students visualize random fertilization events that produce the F2sporophyte generation. The large sample numbers allow meaningful use of the chi-square test.

Pressures of Life: Population Density and C-FERN Development 

Two distinct investigations - carried out sequentially (2 kits in 1). Quantitatively explore the effects of population density. First, explore the influence density has on gametophyte sex ratio, and then, explore the effects of sporophyte competition. 

Meet the C-FERN

Discover the ease of using C-FERN® for hands-on student investigations of plant growth and development, genetics, population studies, and alternation of generations. All growing takes place in a petri dish and all stages are easily observed with a stereomicroscope.

Culturing and Observing C. elegans 

This simple enrichment makes it easy to introduce students to the model organism C. elegans, a microscopic nematode worm used in Nobel Prize-winning studies on development, programmed cell death (apoptosis), and RNA interference. C. elegans is also widely used in studies to gain insight into the function of many human genes.

Examining the RNAi Mechanism

Demonstrate the power of silencing a single gene. RNA interference (RNAi) is a technique that allows you to silence the expression of a chosen gene by specifically degrading the gene's mRNA. This kit allows students to use this Nobel Prize-winning technique to silence the dpy-13 gene in the non-parasitic round worm, C. elegans. They observe wild-type worms eat a lab strain of E. coli that expresses double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) corresponding to the targeted gene, dumpy 13 (dpy-13).

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