A forensic biochemist analyzes biological samples (ex: DNA, blood) to aid in crime investigations.
VIRTUAL JOB SHADOW
Welcome to your first day on the job! Watch this video to see what a day in the life of a forensic biochemist is like.
- Paper towels
- Bowl of water
- Cut the paper towel into 6 strips, each about one inch wide.
- With one of the markers, draw a line about an inch up from the bottom of the paper towel.
- Repeat for all the markers.
- Label the paper towel strips so you know which strip goes with which marker.
- Put the very bottom tip of each paper towel strip into a bowl of water. The ink should be near but NOT touching the water.
- The rest of the paper towel strips will hang outside the bowl. You can tape them in place so they don’t move.
- The water will defy gravity and move up the paper towel strips! Along the way, the ink from the marker will separate into a cool dye pattern. This is chromatography!
Now that you know the basics of chromatography, use it to solve a mystery! Have a friend or adult write a note on a paper towel using one of the markers. Don’t peek! Then follow the steps above to figure out which marker was used to write the note.
Optional: Were you able to solve the mystery? Share your chromatography creations in our Student Showcase to build your resume!
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