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Polymerase Chain Reaction Virtual Lab

Time to complete course: 35 min.

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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 the Polymerase Chain Reaction Virtual Simulation Lab

In the Polymerase Chain Reaction lab, you will be thrown right into a crime scene, where a murder has taken place. To investigate the crime scene, your first task is to collect blood samples in hopes that the murderer has left traces of DNA.

Perform a DNA analysis

After sampling, you will get accesses to a virtual lab to perform a 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 you to mix the correct reagents and perform PCR in the lab PCR machine.

See the DNA structure and replication up close

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 Polymerase Chain Reaction reaction itself. With the media player function, you will be able to see the animation several times, pause it, or revisit it at a later time for exam preparation.

Identify the murderer

In the Polymerase Chain Reaction lab, you will run a gel on your collected sample and other already prepared samples from suspects, and then compare the patterns that emerged on the gel.

Will you be able to identify the murderer?

Techniques In Lab

  • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
  • Gel electrophoresis
  • DNA profiling

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to…

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

Screenshots of Polymerase Chain Reaction Virtual Simulation Lab


Dr. Mette Voldby Larsen

Dr. Mette Voldby Larsen

Institute of Systems Biology

Denmark Technical University

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