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Who are We?

The Ministry of Public Health is responsible for the health and safety of citizens. The Food Inspection Division oversees the quality of food products. Specifically it tests that foods are what they are advertised to be, that they are free from disease or contamination by toxic substances, and that they are fresh and wholesome.

Meat Inspectorate

The Meat Inspectorate, a part of the Food Inspection division, is responsible for the quality of fresh and processed meats sold in stores and restaurants.

The Meat Inspectorate is headed by Inspector Isabel J. Foode, who has 15 years experience in the role.

Your Role

You have been hired as Inspector Foode's technical assistant. Your job is to determine the identity of meat samples which the field officers collect at meat processing plants and butcher shops. Occasionally the local police request your help when they have to deal with dead animals and birds, as part of their case work.

Samples of fresh or frozen meat are brought to the Food Inspection Division. Technical staff in the lab extract DNA from the samples and then determine the genetic sequence for specific gene regions. You identify the species from which these gene sequences came using the Resources listed on the left.

Your Workload

Inspector Foode's team of food inspectors have visited several of the local meat processing plants, butcher shops and restaurants. Each of the samples that they have collected has been analysed and the DNA sequences from them are ready for further assessment. You need to assess each of these and make a species identification.

  • Read the Science section to learn what methods are available for species identification and how each of them works.
  • The DNA sequences are available in the Assignments link on the left.
  • Use the methods to identify the species of each meat sample.
  • Write a short report, using the template
    • Make either an identification, or
    • Make a recommendation as to how the Division's resources could be improved.

If you find a word or species name that you don't know, try Wikipedia for an explanation.


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