Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre

Real-Life Roslin Research | DNA Detectives: Dog Health & Disease

A half-day workshop focused on DNA gel electrophoresis. Students will be introduced to the work of Dr Jeffery Schoenebeck and will analyse DNA samples to discover their genotype for an important, health-related gene. The workshop is supported by scientists, technicians and vets working on our campus, and includes an opportunity for students to find out more about studying and working in science.

Learning Level: Higher Biology & Higher Human Biology

Location: Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre, The University of Edinburgh

Minimum attendance: 16*

Maximum attendance: 30

Duration: 3 hours

Times: 10am - 1pm 

Cost: £5 per student

Workshop Description

Scientists have discovered a DNA mutation linked to breathing problems in popular dog breeds.  Breathing difficulties are most often associated with flat-faced breeds, such as French bulldogs and pugs, but scientists have found the mutation is also carried by Norwich terriers, which have longer noses. In this workshop, students will learn about the work of Roslin Institute scientists and analyse four DNA samples to look for a mutation in a health-related gene. 

We all enjoyed it! We hope that we will be able to come back next year, as it was a really great experience! Thank you for making the visit possible.

International Secondary EFL teacherFrance

Learning Objectives

flat faced dogs
  • To appreciate that scientists work to solve real-world problems
  • To understand that we can identify the genotype of individuals using DNA technology
  • To recognise that the identification of health-related genes can help with the prevention of disease
  • To realise that genotype and phenotype analysis can inform future disease-prevention strategies
  • To interpret and discuss experimental results 

Techniques used

  • Micropipetting
  • Centrifugation
  • DNA gel electrophoresis

Workshop timeline

  • Introduction to the breathing problems found in dogs
  • Introduction to micropipettes
  • Preparation of DNA samples
  • Introduction to genome-wide association studies (GWAS) 
  • DNA electrophoresis using agarose gels
  • Analysis and interpretation of results
  • Discussion with scientists from the Roslin Institute 

Cirriculum Links

Higher Biology (2018-2019)
Higher Human Biology  (2018-2019)
1 The structure of DNA (a) Structure of DNA

2 Structure and replication of DNA

(a) Structure of DNA  (c) Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
2 Replication of DNA  (b) Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)

3 Gene expression (e) Phenotype is determined by the proteins produced as the result of gene expression.

3 Gene expression (e) Phenotype is determined by the proteins produced as the result of gene expression.

4 Mutations (a) Mutations are changes in the DNA that can result an altered protein being synthesized (b) Single gene mutations

6 Mutations (a) Mutations (b) Single gene mutations

5 Human genomics (b) Individual genome analysis

8 Genomic Sequencing (c) Comparison of genomes from different species (d) Individual genome analysis


Bookings will open August 2020

January February March April
Tuesday 12th January 2021 Tuesday 2nd February 2021 Tuesday 16th March 2021 Thursday 1st April 2021
Wednesday 13th January 2021 Wednesday 3rd February 2021 Wednesday 17th March 2021  
Thursday 14th January 2021 Thursday 4th February 2021 Thursday 18th March 2021  
Tuesday 19th January 2021 Wednesday 10th February 2021 Tuesday 23rd March 2021  
Wednesday 20th January 2021   Wednesday 24th March 2021  
Thursday 21st January 2021   Thursday 25th March 2021  
Tuesday 26th January 2021   Tuesday 30th March 2021    
Wednesday 27th January 2021   Wednesday 31st March 2021  
Thursday 28th January 2021


Important Notes

*    Please contact us ebsoc@ed.ac.uk if your group falls below the minimum as we may be able to accommodate your request

      through our small groups waiting list.

Downloadable Resources 


Risk Assessment 
To be added
Workshop Descriptions

Relevant Links

Dog DNA find could aid breathing problems

Journal article