They worked throughout 2018 with scientists from IBioBA to prepare a project to identify genetic fingerprints.
Three students of the senior year of the Pestalozzi German School, Lina Wölcken, Lautaro Silbergleit and Lara Fernández Brudny, obtained the second place in the Hessen-Mitte region, Germany, in the Jugend Forscht contest (‘Young researchers’), one of the most important in Europe for high school students.
In the framework of the agreement between the Pestalozzi Cultural Association and IBioBA, researchers from the the Biomedicine Research Institute of Buenos Aires (IBioBA, CONICET – Partner Institute of the Max Planck Society of Germany) work throughout the year with students of the senior year of the Pestalozzi School. At our institute they participate in lectures and activities, and researchers tutor them during the preparation of the project for the ‘Young Researchers’ contest.
During 2018 CONICET – IBioBA researchers Sebastián Giusti, Damián Refojo and Patricio Yankilevich worked with the three students. “They explored a methodology that uses DNA to identify people. It is based on the detection of variations in the size of microsatellites, which are repetitive sequences of the genome. They did not know this method, but the FBI already uses it and allows identifying the genetic kinship between individuals”, explains Giusti, who is a member of the Molecular Neurobiology group at IBioBA.
In our laboratories Lina, Lautaro and Lara worked with samples to find their own genetic fingerprints and then they determined how similar they were using molecular techniques,
“For them, the challenge was conclude that this method is adequate to identify people, which is not simple if we take into account that people share more than 99 percent of genetic similarity”, Giusti analyzes.
Since 2016, students of the Pestalozzi School work with researchers of the IBioBA to participate in the contest. In 2016 they obtained the third place in the regional competition in Frankfurt, in 2017 the first place in the regional round in Düsseldorf, and in 2018 Lina, Lautaro and Lara won the second place in the regional contest in Hessen-Mitte.