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Catawba Biology Hosts Salisbury High School AP Biology Class

March 15, 2018

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When students from Ms. Amber Lawson’s Salisbury High School AP biology class visited the Catawba College Biology Department, their task was to solve a whodunit mystery through molecular techniques. Lawson’s students conducted an experiment in Catawba’s Molecular Laboratory with Dr. Carmony Hartwig, an assistant professor of biology, and biochemistry students from Catawba that used DNA fingerprinting methodologies to figure out who committed the crime. DNA fingerprinting involves taking all of an organism’s DNA and subjecting it to a technique that amplifies short, repeated DNA sequences found throughout the individual organism’s genome – this reveals a pattern of bands when separated out on an agarose gel. Each pattern is unique to the individual, like a fingerprint, and can therefore be used for identification or paternity testing.

 Photos by Harrison Seefelt, Tonia Black-Gold, and Amber Lawson