Mark Knize, a Lab biologist, and Kirk Brown, a Tracy High School biology teacher explain how trace amounts of carcinogens can form in meat during the cooking process. They will also discuss what can be done to reduce the level of carcinogens present in cooked meat during their presentation.

Today you will learn

  • The tough job cells have-reproducing themselves.
  • About DNA and mutations-the cell's instructions.
  • Chromatography-Biology is made-up of complex mixtures
  • How bacteria tell us anything about cancer in animals or people.
  • How Tracy High School students have used mutation tests in their research projects.
  • How cooking affects carcinogen formation.
  • How we estimate health effects in people.
  • Ways to reduce carcinogen formation.

Student Lecture Notes

Dining on DNA Sample Lesson

Speaker Bios

Mark Knize

Research Scientist, Bioscience Directorate
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Mark is a Biomedical Scientist with over 20 years' experience in identifying and chemically synthesizing and performing experiments with carcinogens formed when foods are cooked. This work combines biology, chemistry, and physics to investigate an important human health problem. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biological Sciences from California State University, Stanislaus.

Kirk Brown

Biology Teacher
Tracy High School

Kirk Brown teaches International Baccalaureate Biology at Tracy High School in Tracy, California. He has 15 years of experience as a teacher and has served as a Mentor Teacher for Tracy Unified School District. He founded the Agricultural/Scientific Academy at Tracy High School, and has worked on science education projects with the California Department of Education, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), San Joaquin County Office of Education, Access Excellence (Genentech), and the Exploratorium and has an on-going partnership with Biorad Laboratories. Kirk is also an adjunct faculty member of San Joaquin Delta College. He has his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biological Science with a concentration in Entomology from California State University Stanislaus and his Master of Arts Degree in Education from the University of the Pacific. While working with LLNL, Kirk worked with other teachers to co-author the Biotechnology Education Program, Laser Science & Optics for the Classroom, and Past Director of the Student Research Academy, and Teacher Research Academy. These programs focus on teacher or student development and training, with a strong focus on integrated instruction. More recently, he has been involved in the development and implementation of a summer research program for high school students at LLNL. Currently, Kirk is the Director of the Biotechnology Pillar at the Edward Teller Education Center. Kirk has worked at the District level writing new K-12 goals, desired learning_s and benchmarks that integrate the National and State standards. Kirk has been named teacher of the year and has won numerous awards including the Milken National Educator Award and most recently, California_s Outstanding Biology Teacher for 2003 by the National Association of Biology Teachers.