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A Day in the Life of a Shark Conservation Genetics Intern

By Steven Kessel and Kevin Feldheim, 6th February 2024

Project intern Karen Figueroa examining the sampled Caribbean Reef Shark (Carcharhinus perezi) DNA. Photo @ Brenna Hernandez | Shedd Aquarium

Have you ever wondered how DNA is extracted from shark fin clips for genetic sequencing? Well, join Karen Figueroa, a project intern at the John G. Shedd Aquarium and Field Museum of Natural History, and your guide to the mesmerizing process of extracting DNA from shark fin clips. In this video, you will step into a day in Karen’s life as she works in the Pritzker DNA Lab, skilfully extracting DNA from Caribbean reef shark (Carcharhinus perezi) fin clip samples in preparation for cutting-edge Next-Generation sequencing.

Project intern Karen Figueroa demonstrating the DNA extraction process from a shark fin clipping.

Project co-leads Steve Kessel and Kevin Feldheim and project intern Karen Figueroa discuss the extraction process at the Pritzker DNA Lab in Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History. Photo @ Brenna Hernandez | Shedd Aquarium



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