This week our students used various Biotechnology applications to copy and separate sections of Koala DNA. In some sections Koalas have a particularly long DNA sequence (cytochrome P450 gene). This long sequence helps them to break down the large volume of gum leaves that they consume (otherwise toxic to other mammals). It shows how animals have adapted to suit their environments.
Our students were able to amplify the DNA using PCR reactions and then create DNA profiles to identify Koala DNA from other mammals. These techniques are the same as the current PCR tests carried out to identify COVID-19.
Mr Shane Willshire