Post-16: Planning an expedition

1. Before your visit: why study DNA?

Review what you already know about the study of DNA.

Task: discuss as a class what you already know about molecular biology and DNA.

Scientists at the Natural History Museum study taxonomy, the science of identifying and naming species and organising them into systems of classification.

In the past, they used morphology, differences in body parts and structures, to tell species apart. At first they just used their eyes for this but as technology improved increasingly powerful microscopes became available.

Task: discuss why scientists use DNA analysis to tell between different species of mosquito. Look at the slideshow below to help you answer this. Only one species in the slideshow carries malaria but can you tell which one?

View slideshow

Task: discuss why you think it might be an advantage to use DNA analysis to tell which species is which?

Next step: choose what to study

School bookings

Book all school activities in advance on +44 (0)20 7942 5555. Lines are open Monday-Friday from 8.30-16.00 during term time and 10.00-13.00 in the holidays.

Darwin Centre links