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DNA - Based Screening For Smallpox As A Biodefense Strategy


For 6 groups. Time requirements: Gel Preparation 30 min, Electroporesis 45 min, Staining 15 min, Destaining 20 min. Throughout history, smallpox has caused more deaths than any other infectious disease. In 1980, following decades of worldwide immunization efforts, the World Health Organization declared smallpox to be officially eradicated. Limited amounts of the virus were stored in the U.S. and the former USSR. Although outlawed by the United Nations, it is believed that several rogue countries and evil individuals have access to clandestine biowarfare laboratories and the capability for smallpox production. This experiment presents a bioterrorism scenario, with students examining a simulated DNA fingerprinting test for the detection of smallpox. Requirements: Horizontal gel electrophoresis apparatus, D.C. power supply, automatic micropipet with tips, balance, microwave oven or hot plate, waterbath (65ºC), pipet pumps or bulbs, 250ml flasks, hot gloves and safety goggles, latex or vinyl gloves, distilled or deionized water, photodocumentation system (opt), visualization system (white light), large weigh boats or containers for destaining. This experiment does not contain smallpox. CONTENTS: Ready-to-Load™ Predigested DNA samples, UltraSpec-Agarose™ powder, Practice Gel Loading Solution, Electrophoresis buffer (50x), 1 ml Pipet, 100 ml Graduated Cylinder, Microtipped transfer pipets, InstaStain™ Methylene Blue, Complete instructions, background information and study questions.

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