Karobi Moitra  4 H Class Whale Of A Tale
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Karobi Moitra 4 H Class Whale Of A Tale



4H adventures in science outreach program presentation

4H adventures in science outreach program presentation



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Karobi Moitra  4 H Class Whale Of A Tale Karobi Moitra 4 H Class Whale Of A Tale Presentation Transcript

  • A WHALE OF A TALE - A DNA DETECTIVE STORY Dr Karobi Moitra , NCI Frederick
  • Where do whales stand on the tree of life? Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Sub phylum: Vertebrata Class: Mammalia Order: Cetacea (Gk Cetus) Suborder: Odontoceti Toothed whales Eg:Killer whale Suborder: Mysticeti Baleen whales Eg:Blue whale
  • Baleen Used for filter feeding Made of keratin
  • Some species of whale are endangered ! How did these whales become endangered?
  • Why were whales hunted?
    • Food
    • Oil
    • Baleen
    • Ambergris
    • (perfume ingredient
    • from whale intestine)
  • How do we stop hunting of endangered species? CITES : Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Of Wild Flora and Fauna Formed in 1973 and came into force in 1975 it works by controlling international trade in endangered species and Forbids/restricts any trade in selected species including the following species of whale: fin whales, sei whales, humpback whales, Brydes whales,blue whales, Asian gray whale and certain populations of Minke whales.
  • Detective work - elementary my dear Watson! Scott Baker came up with a plan and enlisted the help of Naoko Funahashi a Japanese conservationist For a long time Greenpeace and Earthtrust had suspicions the whale meat (kujira)sold in Japanese markets was from endangered species but how to prove it? What do you think the plan was?
  • Problems:
    • To identify the different species of whale from whale meat
    • None of the whale meat can be taken out of Japan
    • To convince Japan based on the evidence to control illegal
    • whaling
    • To identify the different species of whale from samples
    • of whale meat sold in the markets
  • The double helix
  • 2. None of the whale meat can be taken out of Japan to Scotts lab at NCI Frederick Need to copy the whale DNA How would you do that?
  • PCR Copying DNA Starting DNA Template 5’ 5’ 3’ 3’
  • The Polymerase Chain Reaction
    • PCR, or the polymerase chain reaction, makes copies of a specific
    • piece of DNA
    • PCR allows you to look at one specific piece of DNA by making
    • copies of *only* that piece of DNA
    • PCR is like looking for a needle in a haystack, and then making a
    • haystack out of the needle
  • 3’ 5’ 5’ 3’ 5’ 3’ 3’ 5’ Denaturation 94 degrees centigrade
  • Taq 5’ 3’ 3’ 5’ 3’ 3’ 5’ 3’ 5’ 3’ primer 5’ 3’ 5’ Annealing ACGC TGAT T A 55 degrees 72 degrees Extension To copy a specific sequence
  • Amplification/Extension 72 degrees C O P I E S ~ 25 cycles
  • DNA Gel Electrophoresis
  • The Plan : Naoko went to the markets & stuffed whale meat into little glass vials labeled with the name and the market location Scott made an improvised genetics lab in his Tokyo hotel room and copied the DNA from the whale meat using PCR He then took the DNA ran it on a gel and took only the copied DNA with him leaving the originals or ‘templates’ behind.
  • Fin whales Sei whales Humpback whales Brydes whales Blue whales Asian gray whale Minke whales. X Species (DNA sequence) ATTTTAGGGGTACC etc. ATTTTAGGGGTACC
  • The Results Sequencing of the DNA revealed that a no. of endangered species of whale including fin whales, sei whales, humpbacks Brydes whales , blue whales and minke whales were being Illegally hunted Scott convinced the Japanese government to monitor their catch of whales using modern molecular biology methods to make sure that endangered species were not being hunted
  • References / Websites www.animalcorner.co.uk www.wikipedia.org www.enchantedlearning.org www.acsonline.org (American cetacean society) Tears of the Cheetah by Stephen J . O’Brien
  • We coexist on a planet with whales who have a brain not only much larger, but far more complex and far older than ours. And we don’t have a clue what it is used for Roger Payne