Oxford students get hands-on with DNA profiling

OXFORD – High school students at Oxford Academy will have a chance to participate in a high-tech experiment under the guidance of a Cornell University expert this week.

Dr. Mike Yerkey, a primate expert and Cornell University associate, visited Mark Muller’s biology classes on Tuesday in order to demonstrate DNA profiling of animals.

During the day-long demonstration, students became actively involved in the experiment, using minuscule samples of DNA to determine the paternity of the samples.

Yerkey explained that DNA profiling, or DNA fingerprinting is widely used in criminal and legal cases to “determine identity of parentage.” However, its uses also span into the agricultural industry for the purpose of genetically modifying plants or combining genes to amplify desired characteristics in dairy cattle and other animals.

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