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1 November 2017 The Mysterious Murder of Christa Worthington
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Abstract

This lesson presents an interrupted case study based on the true story of the 2002 murder of Christa Worthington in Massachusetts. The case was developed for use in an undergraduate non-majors life science course, but would also be appropriate for a high school biology course or a forensic science course. During this lesson, students examine a crime scene diagram and discuss evidence collection. Students then conduct a hands-on activity extracting DNA from wheat germ to simulate how DNA would be isolated from crime scene samples. Lastly the students will analyze simulated DNA profiles produced using STRs, polymerase chain reaction, and gel electrophoresis to help match a crime scene sample to one of five suspects. The pros and cons surrounding the use of a DNA dragnet are also discussed.

© 2017 National Association of Biology Teachers. All rights reserved. Please direct all requests for permission to photocopy or reproduce article content through the University of California Press's Reprints and Permissions web page, www.ucpress.edu/journals.php?p=reprints.
Kevin M. Bonney and Lori Nicholas "The Mysterious Murder of Christa Worthington," The American Biology Teacher 79(9), 702-710, (1 November 2017). https://doi.org/10.1525/abt.2017.79.9.702
Published: 1 November 2017
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