Watch the following videos to learn more about genetics and the implications of our genetic knowledge:
Our Molecular Selves:
Video transcript: http://www.genome.gov/25520211
Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications of Genetic Knowledge:
Video transcript: http://www.genome.gov/25019880
During the week, select only ONE option (either Option I or Option II) and discuss the following with your classmates. Be sure to use the provided course materials and feel free to share additional information you find through your own research.
Discussion Topic Option I:
- Describe a physical trait you possess that you could potentially pass on to your own children. Using what you learned from the Inheritance of Individual Traits animation, consider the following. Let’s pretend you have 4 children, and 2 of the 4 children also possess your characteristic. Meanwhile the other biological parent of your children does not possess the trait.
- Do you think this trait could be dominant or recessive?
- Based upon your response, describe why it would or would not be possible for this trait to “skip” a generation.
- Patterns of inheritance within organisms like pea plants, fruit flies, mice, and others are somewhat easy to determine since we can easily control their mating practices. Apart from controlling who mates with who, what other characteristics make species like these ideal for studying genetics?
- What are some of the challenges when studying human inheritance of traits like the one you chose for this scenario?
Discussion Topic Option II:
- Describe a health problem that you believe has a genetic component (at least partially inherited). Would you be interested in having genetic testing to determine whether you carry a genetic mutation for a particular disorder or a genetic predisposition for a disease? Why/why not? What are the advantages and disadvantages of determining your predisposition?
- Using the resources provided in the prompt and in the unit’s web resources, explore the current state of research for the health problem you described above. If you did not identify an inherited health condition within your family, then choose a disease that interests you or impacts a friend or other family member.
- Focus only on one of the following as they relate to the genetics of the disease.
- Share what you learn regarding research into the disease and look for similarities between the diseases you and your classmates describe:
Remember to read the Discussion requirements, found in the Unit 7 "Directions" Icon.
Trefil, J., & Hazen, R.M. (2011). The Sciences: An integrated approach. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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