DNA is found in the nucleus of cells. Our bodies are made of cells. Each person has a particular DNA in the nucleus of their cells. If you can get a sample of a person’s cells, like a hair or a drop of blood, you can see what their DNA looks like in a lab. A suspect’s DNA can be compared to DNA found at a crime scene.
In the game csi: Squeak Sneak, Fetch’s squeaky toy is missing. Look at the crime scene and collect evidence. Use DNA to finger the real culprit.
Now watch the Dragonfly TV Forensic Whodunnit Video: The Cake Caper. Somebody has tampered with a birthday party table. The investigaters find fiber, saliva and fingerprint evidence at the crime scene, so they gather fiber, saliva and fingerprint samples from everyone they think is a suspect. Watch them analyze the evidence using a forensics lab to help solve the mystery.
Next, use an online lab to do some DNA testing. Read the mystery to understand what evidence has been collected and who the suspects are. Then follow the directions in the online lab to do the DNA testing yourself.
No two people write in exactly the same way. Detectives use handwriting analysis to solve mysteries. A handwriting expert can tell whether or a not a person wrote a letter or note. Even if a suspect tries to disguise their handwriting, a good handwriting expert can tell. The more samples of the suspects handwriting there are, the easier it is for the expert to identify writing patterns of the person being tested.
If you want to really challenge yourself try out the CIA Break the Code website. You can choose from several code games to see if you qualify to be an ace code maker and breaker.
In the bonus book The Mysterious Benedict Society, the kids use morse code. Morse code is a code in which dots and dashes are used to represent the letters of the alphabet. The dots and dashes can be transmitted over a telegraph or even by turning a light on and off and the right intervals. Try out The Benedict Society’s morse code matching game and then if you think you’re REALLY good try CSS Sam Operation Dit Dah. THAT one is hard. If any of you can do it, let me know. I’ll be impressed.
Codes are used whenever people want to keep a message private. You need to know how the code works and the person receiving your message needs to know how the code works.
Thunk is an example of a code generator. This online generator converts your message into a code for you. This is the lazy way to do it, and not as secure as a top secret code, but it works. The person you are sending the message needs to use the same online code generator to translate your coded message back into English. Give it a try. Click on the Thunk Code Generator. Copy and paste this message into the generator. Click “Unscramble”.
Now here’s a game that doesn’t do all the work for you – try to Crack Digit’s Code. Look really carefully at the secret decoder. Roll over the letters with the mouse to reveal which symbol is associated with each letter. TIP: Look how each symbol in the coded message has some lines around it. You need to match up those lines with the lines in the tic-tac-toe grid…THEN figure out which of the letters you need by looking at the symbol.