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Using Bacteria to Clean Clothes? Genetic Engineering in Action - Laboratory Kits

By: The Flinn Staff

With the Using Bacteria to Clean Clothes? Genetic Engineering in Action Biochemistry laboratory kits, investigate whether detergents that list GMO-derived enzymes as ingredients will “clean clothes” better than alternatives.

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Creating organisms that have never existed on Earth is not just science fiction! Today, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are used in many ways to benefit mankind, from making insulin to improving detergents. In this easy-to-use kit, students investigate whether detergents that list GMO-derived enzymes as ingredients will “clean clothes” better than detergents that might not contain enzymes. The detergents are tested by comparing their effectiveness at digesting proteins (gelatin). In addition, many suggestions are included for turning this lab into a cooperative class project by assigning different variables to each group for testing.

Balances with 0.1-g precision, hot plate(s) and pH paper or handheld pH meters are required and available separately.

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Analyzing and interpreting data
Planning and carrying out investigations
Constructing explanations and designing solutions

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-LS1.A: Structure and Function

Crosscutting Concepts

Structure and function
Stability and change

Performance Expectations

HS-LS1-1: Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the structure of DNA determines the structure of proteins, which carry out the essential functions of life through systems of specialized cells.
HS-LS1-4: Use a model to illustrate the role of cellular division (mitosis) and differentiation in producing and maintaining complex organisms.
MS-LS1-1: Conduct an investigation to provide evidence that living things are made of cells; either one cell or many different numbers and types of cells
MS-LS3-2: Develop and use a model to describe why asexual reproduction results in offspring with identical genetic information and sexual reproduction results in offspring with genetic variation.