How do we know if Hematodinium is the Culprit?

Lesson Plan Standards:

1.2.7 1.4.2 1.5.1 1.7.6


In this section of the lesson, the students will display their results to the class. The class will then agree or disagree if Hematodinium is the culprit using their data from the lab. The teacher will explain that there are additional methods such as qualitative PCR that provide quantitative, conclusive data for DNA fingerprinting.


Students will be able to analyze their gel in order to determine if Hematodinium DNA is present in crab hemolymph. Students will also be able to investigate various biotech techniques available to scientists in order to select the best methods for positively identifying a suspect.

Lesson Materials:

1.      Images of gels from the Exploration.


  1. Students will post images of their gels for the class to see.
  2. Students will collectively agree whether or not Hematodinium is the culprit and will defend their answers using scientific data.
  3. The teacher will discuss whether the data collected was qualitative or quantitative.
  4. The teacher will discuss alternative biotech methods for positively identifying a suspect, such as end point PCR and quantitative PCR.
  5. Students will evaluate which method they think is the most useful.


MdBio Case of the Broken Beaker,

Maryland State Standards:

The student will use relationships discovered in the lab to explain phenomena observed outside the laboratory.
The student will analyze data to make predictions or decisions or to draw conclusions.
The student will demonstrate the ability to summarize data (measurements/observations).
The student will explain how development of scientific knowledge leads to the creation of new technology and how technological advances allow for additional scientific accomplishments.

The Blue Crab: Callinectes Sapidus

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