Category Archives: 04 Genetics
An entertaining and informative TED talk by medical ethicist Harvey Fineberg on the future of human evolution and the ethics surrounding the decisions that we may soon be able to make regarding our children and our health. With strong links to the Human Genome Project, evolution, ethics, genetic engineering, stem cells and TOK, this is a great video to watch and stimulate discussion and thought in the Genetics unit.
What do you think?
DrosophiLab is a brilliant, free and downloadable piece of software that allows students and teachers to edit fruit flies and carry out crosses. The teacher can use the chromosome editor to set up parent flies of any genotype and there are 20 genes and traits represented, on four chromosomes. This allows for simple monohybrid crosses, sex-linkage, gene linkage and many other combinations – so the problems you set can be differentiated by level. There is also a password-protected teacher setting, to restrict students’ access to results tables and chromosome maps (so they have to work it out for themselves!).
Here are our class resources:
Fly files in this folder: http://www.box.net/shared/dy326rb01d
Chi-Calc (Chi-squared calculator, .xlsx)
How to catch and observe Drosophila:
And this is how you tell the sexes apart:
When trying to observe the flies for real, think about the following questions:
– How are you ensuring ethical treatment of the animals?
– How long would it take to determine the phenotypes of the number of flies you have set for your investigations?
– What difficulties do you encounter when observing the flies?
– What are the limitations or sources of error that might affect the reliability of your results?
Why are fruit flies so important in science?
Science loves fruit flies, and there was even a fruit fly Nobel awarded in 1995 for studies in embryonic development. This links neatly to the assessment statements regarding the differentiation of cells through expression of different genes.
Fruit fly cells are relatively easily observed, and Drosophila makes for an ideal model organism for Mendelian genetics as it has a short life cycle, reproduces quickly and is easily phenotyped.
Drosophila buscki from Journal of Endocrinology
Fruit fly graphic and DrosophiLab banner from DrosophiLab
Thanks to bogstandardcomp from the TES Forums for this one.
PBS have a series on their archives called Scientific American Frontiers. Although the last episode posted there was a couple of years ago, they have full episodes online and allow easy navigation within clips. There are also teaching resources and notes to go along with each one.
For some highlights have a look at:
– Make Up Your Mind (brain development and neuroscience)
– Hot Planet, Cold Comfort (climate change)
– Going Deep (ALVIN and deep-sea exploration)
– The Gene Hunters (Genetics and a few good resources)
This is a re-post for the class of 2009 to revise and the 2010 group to catch on the first time… As always, click on the shadowed images for a link to an animation, or visit the links posted below.
Core (for everyone):
Additional Higher Level:
There are many decent Flash animations and the like on the internet, but the majority cannot be embedded. Below this YouTube video, there are some direct links to resources, some of which can be easily saved.
Learn.Genetics @ Utah
Transcribe and Translate (good, basic, interactive)
How do fireflies glow? (puts it in context)
University of Nebraska:
Protein Synthesis overview (Good enough for SL)
Transcription Details (fits DP Bio HL very well)
Translation Details (fits DP Bio HL very well)
John Kyrk: (visit the parent site at www.johnkyrk.com – excellent)
Transcription (fits DP Bio HL very well)
Translation (fits DP Bio HL very well)
St. Olaf College
Transcription (clear and simple)
Translation (clear and simple)
EDIT: Two more animations (from mrhardy’s wikispace, original source unknown)
RNA Splicing tutorial (HL only)
Translation with a genetic code dictionary (shows position in the ribosome)
Some more in-depth animations (newly added):
Translation from Wiley Interscience
Translation from LSU Medschool
Translation from The Chinese University in Hong Kong
Protein targeting from Rockefeller University
This is a short one – class presentation is here (click shadowed images for animations and movies):
Here’s a decent video from BBC AS Guru with David Suzuki:
The story of the discovery of the double-helix structure is a good example international collaboration and competition, and led to the Nobel prize for Crick, Watson and Wilson (who we never hear about). You’ve got to feel for Rosalind Franklin – her work was key in their discovery and she wasn’t cited for it until after her death.
Here’s a great video, though the presenter sound like he has a mouth full of marbles:
This 9-minute clip is an ideal ‘watcher’ to go along with the reader in the Course Companion – it tells the story of the discovery of the DNA double helix structure by Watson and Crick and how their discovery was dependant on the prior work of Rosalind Franklin and the compeitive/cooperative nature of research:
This clip is taken from the vdeo lesson resource provided by Virginia Commonwealth University’s ‘Secrets of the Sequence’ website. They have 50 different videos, each with accompanying lesson plans and activities.
They also have a YouTube channel: VCULifeSciences.