Biology 19

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Genetics & Chromosomes

Topic (19) Formulate questions about DNA & chromosome roles in traits passed to offspring. (HS-LS3-1)

Genetics is the study of heredity and the variation of inherited characteristics. Chromosomes are a threadlike structure of nucleic acids and protein found in the nucleus of most living cells, carrying genetic information in the form of genes


Day 1 – Introduction
Day 2 – Virtual Textbook

4:43 Super Cow Creators | | National Geographic (launch in youtube)

1:52 Cow Embryo Flush (launch in youtube)

4:02 The Next Frontier: Use of embryo transfer breeding technology

Video Option for Non-Cattle States

3:12 Genetics 101 | National Geographic

Compare Contrast and Debate

Kickoff Debate Background: Each state – each country, for that matter – has plants and animals that are common. Also, many living things are NOT common in those areas. Many of the world’s living things don’t even exist in certain areas of the world.

  • Position A: While learning about this topic, teachers should emphasize (and use as examples) the animals common to that part of the world.
  • Position B: Whether or not a particular animal is common or not to an area is irrelevant when learning about this topic..

Instructor Resources

Standard Daily Material
  • Day 1 – Standard material – introduction day
  • Day 2 – Standard material – reading day
  • Day 3 – Standard material – make a presentation
  • Day 4 – Standard material – give a presentation
  • Extra! – Enrichment and remediation options
Other Topic Specific Resources


Special Notes and Notices

Instructor Emphasis:

  • Science & Engineering Practice: Engage in scientific argument from evidence.
  • Cross-Cutting Concept: Structure and Function.

Emphasize HS-LS3-1  Ask questions to clarify relationships about the role of DNA and chromosomes in coding the instructions for characteristic traits passed from parents to offspring.

Attention: Non-Oklahoma Instruction

Note to teachers in states other than Oklahoma: This topic provides for introduction to genes, genetics and chromosomes – except that emphasis for illustration is placed on cattle and modern technologies for cattle breeding. The rationale for this emphasis is the significance of the cattle industry to the State of Oklahoma. Providing for relevant, real-life illustrations to student acquisition of knowledge is a typical tenet for most educators. This module may be best suited for instruction in one of the “cattle states” – and alternative video may be more appropriate for students residing in other states.

Cattle population per human population (source)

South Dakota has the most cattle per person in the United States followed by Nebraska and Montana. South Dakota has more than 4 times as many cattle as they do people. Nine (9) states have more cattle than people. Notably, Texas is not on this specific list – although Texas is the #1 cattle state overall in terms of total head of cattle with 12.3 million head out of the total 93.6 million head in the US. California, Wisconsin, and Colorado might similarly be considered a “cattle state” – each having over 2.5 million head each.

Rank // State // # Human // # Cattle // Ratio

1 SD 845 k 3,650 k 4.3
2 NE 1,869 k 6,150 k 3.3
3 MT 1,015 k 2,550 k 2.5
4 ND 723 k 1,770 k 2.4
5 WY 583 k 1,270 k 2.2
6 KS 2,894 k 5,800 k 2.0
7 ID 1,612 k 2,190 k 1.4
8 IA 3,090 k 3,700 k 1.2
9 OK 3,850 k 4,300 k 1.1
10 MO 6,044 k 3,800 k 0.6
  • In multicellular organisms individual cells grow and then divide via a process called mitosis, thereby allowing the organism to grow.
  • The organism begins as a single cell (fertilized egg) that divides successively to produce many cells, with each parent cell passing identical genetic material (two variants of each chromosome pair) to both daughter cells.
  • Cellular division and differentiation produce and maintain a complex organism, composed of systems of tissues and organs that work together to meet the needs of the whole organism.

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