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DNA and Heredity

DNA stands for  deoxyribonucleic acid. DNA is a self-replicating material present in nearly all living organisms as the main constituent of chromosomes. It is the carrier of genetic information. Heredity is the passing on of physical or mental characteristics genetically from one generation to another.

Lesson 1 (or “Day 1”) Material
Lesson 2 (or “Day 2”) Material
Lesson 3 (or “Day 3”) Material
Lesson 4 (or “Day 4”) Material

5:23 What is DNA and How Does it Work?

1:47 DNA – What is DNA? – Basics of DNA

4:21 DNA Structure


Compare Contrast and Debate

Kickoff Debate Background: Prior to modern understanding of DNA and heredity, these were philosophers and others that had ideas related to heredity. For example, the most influential early theories of heredity were that of Hippocrates and Aristotle. Hindu scriptures and texts (Charaka Samhita) dating before the 2nd century described ideas related to what we now call heredity. While these earlier ideas differ from modern understanding, they remain relevant as part of the history of heredity science.

  • Position A: Honeycutt Science should include a review of the historical concepts of heredity, even if they differ from modern understanding.
  • Position B: Honeycutt Science should focus only on the modern views related to heredity – as these are most relevant to a high school student.

Resources Documents and Links

Special Notes and Notices

Instructor Emphasis:

  • Science & Engineering Practice: Analyze and interpret data.
  • Cross-Cutting Concept: Structure and Function.

Emphasize HS-LS1-1 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the structure of DNA determines the structure of proteins, which carry out the essential functions of life through systems of specialized cells.

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