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Gene Knockouts: How does an alien build a car?

Author Information

  • Name: Anne Schulberg
  • Position and Institution: Graduate Student, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
  • Contact:
  • Available for contact for questions and classroom visits: Yes
  • Year contributed: 2020


  • Grade Level: 6-8
  • Science Domain: Life Sciences
  • PE Code: MS-LS1-6


Diatoms are a type of photosynthetic marine plankton with some incredibly unique adaptations to the ocean environment. To investigate them, we use genetic editing techniques that help uncover information about the parts of this largely unknown system. The first step to understanding these is learning about the principle of gene “knockouts”, or cutting out the gene of interest to figure out what the diatom does without it, in order to determine its usual function. This lesson will cover the idea of gene knockouts through use of real world examples, and ask students to apply it to a scientist’s ongoing research.


  • gene editing
  • genomics
  • gene knockout
  • diatom
  • marine microbiology


sandiego/gene_knockouts_-_how_does_an_alien_build_a_car.txt · Last modified: 2020/10/27 16:09 (external edit)