Case 1: It's as Easy as Pulling a Hair

Case 1:  It’s as Easy as Pulling a Hair

Developed in partnership with the Stanford Human Genome Center & Kaiser Permanente

This case features a young man who has received positive test results for a gene marker that suggests he is at risk for developing brain cancer. After initially panicking, he consults a genetic counselor about the significance of the test results. The counselor questions the validity of the test, due to the lack of appropriate population studies, and pursues the company that developed the test with her practical and ethical concerns.

Students act as both technician and subject as they conduct a hands-on PCR lab with RFLP analysis of DNA samples gathered from their class population. This accomplished, students begin building their own database for a larger population study. For instructional materials, click on the links below.  These materials include the case study, Laboratory Procedure, Appendix, and PCR Slides.  A facilitator guide is also available here after log-in.  

Case Study: It's as Easy as Pulling a Hair

Student Laboratory Procedure


PCR Slides

Amplification Size Molecular Ruler (Bio-Rad) 


  • Learn about biotech careers
  • Find biotech programs

Learn more »


  • Professional development
  • View curriculum

Learn more »


  • Connect with local programs
  • Find skilled workers

Learn more »