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Crime Scene Investigation

Learn the techniques and application of Polymerase Chain Reaction and Gel Electrophoresis. Explore real world application, such as analyzing unique genetic fingerprints to solve a murder case.

About This Simulation

Investigating the crime scene, the student collects blood samples in hopes that the murderer has left traces of DNA. After sampling, the student accesses a virtual lab to perform DNA analysis.

In the lab, a PCR kit, purified DNA from the crime scene, and a full lab bench set up are available. It is now up to the student to mix the correct reagents and perform PCR in the lab PCR machine. A 3D animation will show the Polymerase Chain Reaction at the molecular level, illustrating DNA structure and replication. Quiz questions will be asked throughout the experimental process, as well as at specific steps of the PCR reaction itself. With the media player function, the students will be able to see the animation several times, pause it, or revisit it at a later time for exam preparation.

Students run a gel on their collected sample and other already prepared samples from suspects. Comparing the patterns that emerged on the gel, students will be asked to identify the murderer. Upon completing the lab, students will have a thorough understanding about DNA profiling and Small Tandem Repeats. Additionally, quiz questions accompanying the experimental steps will check on the students understanding of the content. A Labster Learning Wiki is also supplemented to provide the student with background theory.



Dr. Mette Voldby Larsen

Dr. Mette Voldby Larsen

Institute of Systems Biology

Denmark Technical University

Learning Objectives

  • Learning about the function of DNA polymerase in DNA replication and synthesis
  • Understanding the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technique using DNA from a blood sample as the template
  • Understanding the Gel Electrophoresis technique that separates DNA according to its size
  • Learning about the unique signature of the human genome and the use of Tandem Repeated Region (TRR) in DNA profiling

Techniques In This Simulation

  • PCR
  • Gel electrophoresis
  • DNA profiling


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