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How to work with DNA

As it is getting closer to Christmas, before you start revising all about DNA, why not find out more about reindeer!

Have you ever wondered about where reindeer came from? Well, DNA is pretty amazing, and can tell us a lot about a species. Reindeer are cousins to cows and sheep, but their closest relations are deer. We already know that reindeer are pretty unique, especially at Christmas, but they are also the only species of deer to live all over the world. They live in arctic and subarctic regions, as well as throughout areas of Europe, North America and Asia! They are also the only deer who have been fully domesticated – possibly even as far back as 3000 BC according to cave paintings and other archaeological finds! Not only that, but they are the only deer species where both female and male can grow antlers.

As they live in very cold places, they have special adaptations to help them survive. Reindeer are the only deer species to have hair completely covering their nose. They are even a little like Rudolph with his red nose. Many tiny veins around their nose circulate warm blood, which helps them to warm up the cold air they breathe in. With their excellent sense of smell, they are able to find food hidden in the snow and  sense danger.


GCSE scientists – you need to be able to explain the structure of DNA. For help, try our new guide “How to work with DNA”. It includes a description of its structure. In addition there is information on how to extract it from fruit.  As always there are questions to try, and answers to check your understanding.

Click on the picture below to see the guide.

Come back and check our blog page for more resources to help you improve your understanding of different topics in various subjects.  New Maths and Science guides will be coming soon.

If you found this useful and think you would benefit from some additional help, please contact us.



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