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Practical 1: DNA Extraction The practical details on the next 2 pages give you a description of a ‘kitchen sink’ method for extracting DNA from plant cells. Whilst they are on a much smaller and precise scale, methods for extracting DNA for forensic or genetic manipulation purposes in labs all around the world will follow along similar lines! The aim of this activity is to start to introduce you to the modern world of plant cell biology! Your task is to find out how extracted DNA may be used, in areas such as identification (genetic finger printing) or production of new cultivars (genetic modification), in your area of study. As part of your assignment you are asked to write an answer to the following question: How is this ability to extract, study and manipulate DNA being used, or could potentially be used, in your industry? Here are some helpful hints to help you with that task: Your answer should include a consideration of a range of different ways that isolated DNA (DNA extracted from a cell) can be used. Ways in which extracted DNA may be used include: identification of seed or plant material, identification of plant diseases, or production of new improved cultivars. It should provide specific examples of where DNA has been used, in your industry or in related industries. To find these you will need to look for research reported in relevant scientific and industry journals rather than in books. You may find some information by a general search online but you need to make sure that any website resources are reliable. For highest marks you need to write your answer in a structured way rather than just putting the examples you find in a ‘bit of a list’. So including an introduction and grouping similar information would be good. There no need to explain the techniques that are used in a lab to extract or manipulate the DNA and don’t worry if you find much of the technical stuff in the scientific paper too complex to understand as this is definitely not required for this module!