In this laboratory experiment students explore how effectively different sunscreens protect yeast cells from damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Prior Knowledge Needed

DNA contains the instructions for proper cell function; changes to DNA can cause cancer; skin cancer can be caused by exposure to UV radiation, which comes from the sun; and the meaning of SPF ratings on sunscreens.

Time Required

Class Time: Two 45 minute class times
Prep Time: 1-2 hours


Does Sunscreen Protect my DNA? Student Version

Does Sunscreen Protect my DNA? Teacher Version

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Teacher pages include material supply contacts and teaching strategies to help students interpret and explore their data.
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Students follow simple step-by-step instructions to explore DNA damage caused by UV radiation.
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Funding provided by a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Precollege Science Education Initiative for Biomedical Research Institutions Award (Grant 51000125)