Blast Lab

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AP Biology 6th

Mr.Scofield

Blast Lab

Background:

Between 1990–2003, scientists working on an international research project known as the Human Genome Project were able to identify and map the 20,000–25,000 genes that define a human being. The project also successfully mapped the genomes of other species, including the fruit fly, mouse, and Escherichia coli. The location and complete sequence of the genes in each of these species are available for anyone in the world to access via the Internet.

In this laboratory investigation, we used BLAST to compare several genes, and then use the information to construct a cladogram. A cladogram (also called a phylogenetic tree) is a visualization of the evolutionary relatedness of species.

We look at the similarities and differences of different genes comparing them to humans for example; Chimpanzees and humans share 95%+ of their DNA, which would place them closely together on a cladogram. Humans and fruit flies share approximately 60% of their DNA.

Learning Objectives:

-To analyze biological data with a sophisticated bioinformatics online tool.
-To use cladograms and bioinformatics tools to ask other questions of your own and to test your ability to apply concepts you know relating to genetics and evolution.

Procedure:

Our general task was to use blast to evaluate certain genes and compare them to humans.
After finishing the initial experiment we were given another task, to conduct our own experiment. We chose a gene of our choice to compare to humans, to see if any other organisms have the gene that we were looking at other than humans, and if so how much do we share.

Gene: Actin

The initial gene that we started with was actin and there was so many relationships between humans and other organisms. I was surprised how closely related we are to others. It showed a cladogram of the relationships.

What other organisms have it

The actin gene organization and

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