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Learning the scientific method using GloFish

Learning the scientific method using GloFish

Zebrafish 9(4): 226-241

Here we describe projects that used GloFish, brightly colored, fluorescent, transgenic zebrafish, in experiments that enabled students to carry out all steps in the scientific method. In the first project, students in an undergraduate genetics laboratory course successfully tested hypotheses about the relationships between GloFish phenotypes and genotypes using PCR, fluorescence microscopy, and test crosses. In the second and third projects, students doing independent research carried out hypothesis-driven experiments that also developed new GloFish projects for future genetics laboratory students. Brianna Vick, an undergraduate student, identified causes of the different shades of color found in orange GloFish. Adrianna Pollak, as part of a high school science fair project, characterized the fluorescence emission patterns of all of the commercially available colors of GloFish (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple). The genetics laboratory students carrying out the first project found that learning new techniques and applying their knowledge of genetics were valuable. However, assessments of their learning suggest that this project was not challenging to many of the students. Thus, the independent projects will be valuable as bases to widen the scope and range of difficulty of experiments available to future genetics laboratory students.

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Accession: 054095379

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PMID: 23244693

DOI: 10.1089/zeb.2012.0758

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