Season 7 Round Up: Genetics!

This season was all about genetics! We started off on December 2, 2016, finishing up our protein synthesis chapter with a fun game with all the RNAs. Learning about DNA code we watched the PBS nova documentary, Cracking the Code of Life, made in 2001. Later on, we dove into some group/individual work and became experts in our genetics and health symposium. In class, we discussed exceptions to Mendelian Laws, such as codominance, and saw that recessive or dominant genes do not always follow the same rules. For some practice with learning how traits get passed down, we had some practice with Punnett squares with dihybrid and monohybrids.
Early this month, we watched Cracking the Code of Life, made by PBS, narrating the quest to complete the first DNA sequence in the Human Genome project. Following the story of Celera, a high-tech private company run by Craig Venter, we see the battle to create a gene map between government run businesses and private companies. This documentary also explores ethical debates with new technology. With the possibility of being able to change or choose one’s DNA poses problems of messing with humanity which we had discussed in class. Split into groups we came up with multiple questions after discussing the movie as a whole.

  1. If you knew that you and your partner were carriers for a certain disease (such as Tay Sach’s), would you still choose to reproduce? Does your partner’s genetic health impact your feelings towards them?
  2. Is there a way to make genetic testing more accessible to the public to know if a parent is a carrier for certain diseases? Such as spitting on a piece of paper that would say green/red if you’re a carrier or not. This would help parents decided whether to reproduce or not
  3. Since then what has the Human Genome project been used for?
  4. Do you think that gene sequences and genetic information should be patented so that people have to pay to use/research them? Would this create competition that would speed up research projects? Or should they be completely public information that anyone can use to learn from?

Check it out here!

For our symposium, we all became experts on Neurofibromatosis Type 1, Huntington’s Disease, Retinablastoma, Deletion Syndrome, Duchenne Muscular Distrophy, Hemochromatosis, and Down Syndrome. For this project each mutation group made a VoiceThread including the mode of inheritance, symptoms, and treatments. After making our fabulous products. We all watched each other’s presentations and gave some feedback stating both the glows and grows of each.

Feel free to check them out in the post Mrs. Girard made a few back!

Working on contacting an expert on Neurofibromatosis Type 1 through a foundation!

In Chapter 14, we covered exceptions to Mendelian Laws. These include incomplete dominance, codominance, multiple alleles, polygenic traits, pleiotropic traits, and epistasis. To learn these, we went over a powerpoint made by Mrs. Girard using our knowledge of Mendelian Laws from Zspace and Punnett squares. We practiced these skills of Punnett squares in class through worksheets given and practiced them as a class and worked on probability!

Michelle, Veronica, Keira, Lindsay and Gina working on worksheets together.

Overall this unit was a great way to wrap up the end of Semester 1. It was packed with information but we all had fun learning with each other and learning about our specific diseases in our genetic symposium! To end it off we ended the month with a review day on the unit as a whole and all the seasons to prep for the final.

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2 thoughts on “Season 7 Round Up: Genetics!

  1. Helen, great idea to reference other posts…including a link to the post would help your reader find the information quickly. Can you believe how much we cover in a season?!? This semester will be jam packed with more content and I can’t wait to see what Team AP Bio 2017 learns and explores!

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  2. This is a super great unit! I was only a genetics major for a year, but I can tell you how fascinating it is and I’m sure you know after watching this documentary. We did a project later on, a symposium, and my group made a video about Progeria. Punnett squares are super fun, just wait until you get to doing ones with multiple alleles and calculating probability.

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