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An Identity Crisis™ DNA Typing

Identity Crisis! Two women have been identified post-mortem as Louise Mondelo. It is up to your students to determine who is actually Louise using the latest in DNA typing technology.
An Identity Crisis™ DNA Typing



This laboratory kit introduces students to gel electrophoresis, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and short tandem repeat (STR) DNA analysis. During the lab, students will pour agarose gels, load DNA, run the gel, and then analyze their results to determine the identity and paternity of victims, and who may have been present at the crime scene.

DNA Resolves in Real Time

BlueVis™ is a non-toxic buffer and stain solution formulated by Crosscutting Concepts. By making and running a gel with BlueVis™, the DNA in the gel can be visualized as the gel runs. This eliminates the need for both hazardous stains and UV equipment and long stain/de-stain procedures. And, since students can see the DNA in the gel, it makes a great teaching opportunity on DNA migration!

Photodocumentation Ready!

In addition to the BlueVis™ dye, the DNA Typing kit also includes InstaStain® Methylene Blue sheets from Edvotek®, to yield high quality results excellent for photodocumentation. This new addition to the DNA Typing kit is provided free of charge.

As in all Lyle and Louise modules, this kit is geared to high school and undergraduate courses, and is matched to National Science Education Standards. This kit is designed for 6 labs groups (up to 30 students).

Next Generation Science Standards

  • HS-LS3-1. Ask questions to clarify relationships about the role of DNA and chromosomes in coding the instructions for characteristic traits passed from parents to offspring.
  • HS-LS3-2. Make and defend a claim based on evidence that inheritable genetic variations may result from: (1) new genetic combinations through meiosis, (2) viable errors occurring during replication, and/or (3) mutations caused by environmental factors.
  • HS-LS3-3. Apply concepts of statistics and probability to explain the variation and distribution of expressed traits in a population.
  • HS-ETS1-2. Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.

Common Core Standards

  • CCSS.Math.Content.7.EE.A.1 Apply properties of operations as strategies to add, subtract, factor, and expand linear expressions with rational coefficients.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.7.SP.C.7 Develop a probability model and use it to find probabilities of events. Compare probabilities from a model to observed frequencies; if the agreement is not good, explain possible sources of the discrepancy.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.HSN-Q.A.3 Choose a level of accuracy appropriate to limitations on measurement when reporting quantities.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.HSA-SSE.B.3b Complete the square in a quadratic expression to reveal the maximum or minimum value of the function it defines.


Included Materials
  • Fully illustrated teacher and student guide
  • PowerPoint lecture
  • Pre-melted agarose gels (6)
  • BlueVis staining solution (1)
  • BlueVis gel buffer (2)
  • DNA Samples (6 sets)
  • InstaStain® Methylene Blue sheets (6)
Required Materials
  • Gel electrophoresis apparatus w/ power supplies
  • Microwave
  • >1 L capacity glass bottle
  • 10 uL fixed volume pipettor w/ tips
  • 5 mL serological pipet, or 10 mL graduated cylinder
  • Lab gloves
  • Distilled water
Storage Conditions Refrigerate (2-8°C)
Stability 6 months

Teacher Manuals

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