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Which Little Piggy Went to Market?
Bioinformatics and Meat Science
Debra A. Meuler
In this case study, a scientist is contacted by a friend from a meat processing plant who is looking for a test to determine the sex of the animals that contributed to a particular batch of meat. He needs to know because meat from uncastrated males (boars) imparts an unpleasant odor (boar taint) to pork products, something he wants to avoid. Developed for use in an introductory biology class, the case introduces students to basic genetics concepts, DNA structure, the technique of PCR, genetic databases, and the use of positive and negative controls during scientific investigations. The case could also be used in high school classes, especially as a tool for learning about (or reviewing) the scientific process as it requires students to develop hypotheses, design experiments, and analyze and interpret data.
|Keywords:||Polymerase chain reaction; PCR; pig; boar; boar taint; SRY; gilt; sow; barrow; ELISA; enzyme linked immunosorbent assay; experimental design; androsterone; skatole|
|Topical Area:||Scientific method|
|Educational Level:||High school, Undergraduate lower division|
|Subject Headings:||Biotechnology Genetics / Heredity Bioinformatics Food Science / Technology Molecular Biology|
|Copyright:||Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.|
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