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Students study the number of chromosomes in the body cells, sperm cells, and egg cells of humans. They define allele, and examine the difference between dominant and recessive alleles. They complete an activity with jelly beans that represent genes for several human traits.
Students work with whole plant material and are not required to measure small quantities, yet they can see evidence of transformed plant cells (plant cells that have genes from bacterial plasmids). This is a laboratory suitable for students who are familiar with the basic principles of plant cell structure, tissue culture, sterile technique, and cell transformation (bacterial infection, plasmid vectors, marker genes, selection medium, and enzyme activity assays).
Mendels laws of Genetics are extended here with examples of traits that are completely controlled by just one gene. Malfunctions such as albinism and baldness can therefore be tracked and will demonstrate inheritance patterns to your class. This slideshow will really clarify some discussion points on the nature and nurture debate and could start other topic research.
Students are asked to use their imaginations to take the idea of biotechnology one step further. Before beginning this activity students read and complete a report on the book "Jurassic Park," which deals with the use of biotechnology to recreate animals (dinosaurs). There assignment is to use genetic engineering to create a fantasy animal utilizing genes from present day animals or plants.
How are the reactions between American and European consumers different when it comes to genetically modified foods? Use the New York Times article "Consumers in Europe Resist Gene-Altered Foods" to inform your middle schoolers about the controversy, as well as to compare the reaction in America. Lead your class in a debate about whether or not genetically modified food should be available in a grocery store.
Students complete a lab based on how chance affects which genes appear in gametes as in Mendel's Law of Segregation. They review the theories, vocabulary words, and historical background of Gregor Mendel's work with pea plants. They complete lab worksheets and submit for grading.
The metaphors used here to describe the "cut and paste" procedures for genetic engineering will really help your biologists in their understanding of restriction enzymes and DNA. The uses of genes that are isolated and incorporated into plasmids are discussed and will help your students learn the real life opportunities and application of biotechnology.
Students solve the following problem concerning the evolution of seed color in pinto bean plants: "How does natural selection change the frequency of genes or traits over many generations?" They use the constructivist approach to studying as they work in teams to design and conduct an experiment that solves this natural selection "problem."
In this heredity worksheet, students will create 3 Punnett squares to determine the genotype and phenotype of the offspring from specific breedings. Then students will answer 7 true or false questions based on chromosomes and sex-linked traits. Then students will answer 4 short answer questions about environmental influences on gene expression.
Students investigate the process of genetic engineering. In this genetic engineering lesson plan, students use paper models of DNA and plasmid bacterium to investigate the process of replicating DNA, splicing genes from DNA, and inserting genes of donated DNA into a plasmid.
Students explore the patterns of nature. In this interdisciplinary lesson, students examine beauty in nature and participate in a hands-on simulation that demonstrates how human preferences for beauty have led to an increased frequency of particular traits expressed in the gene pool of a species.