The knowledge of genetics, transcription, and translation that I gained during my Independent Research and Design project provided me with a foundation for my understanding of Down’s syndrome. After creating an understanding of how Down’s syndrome occurs genetically, I wanted to learn more about how to test for genetic diseases. I performed a simulation test where I was given the DNA of a family of 24 and their family pedigree. To create the simulation I made a gel with slots for the dyed DNA samples and then ran the dyes using two 9-V batteries for a set amount of time. After letting them run, I marked down the number of bands I saw in each row (see pictures below) and where on the gel they were located. As directed by the instruction manual, I had to decide if the disease that some members carried was hereditary, sex based, or random. The method I used in this experiment is not exactly how Down’s syndrome is tested for because Down’s syndrome tests use a karyotype, however, methodically the two tests are similar.
After reviewing the results, I decided the disease in the family was a recessive trait because children who had the disease didn’t always have a parent who had the disease. If the disease was a dominant trait, then any couple where one parent had the disease would have at least one child with the disease.
Creating this simulation test was important for me to use in order to understand how newborns are tested for Down’s syndrome. It also gave me the skills needed to create tests like these and that I can use in science courses in the future. Please continue to read my blogs about my IRaD project; next blog will be about new, modern research!
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