Biology 45

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Deep Dive: Genetics

Topic (45) Construct an explanation about influences on biodiversity due to selected factors. (HS-LS4-2
Genetics is the study of genes and heredity.

The discoverer of genetics is Gregor Mendel, a late 19th-century scientist and Augustinian friar. Mendel studied “trait inheritance”, patterns in the way traits are handed down from parents to offspring.

He observed that organisms (pea plants) inherit traits by way of discrete “units of inheritance.” This expression still used today, is a somewhat ambiguous definition of what is referred to as a gene.


Day 1 – Introduction
Day 2 – Virtual Textbook

3:12 Genetics 101 | National Geographic

11:45 Genetics

16:03 Genetic Engineering Will Change Everything Forever – CRISPR


Compare Contrast and Debate

Paraphrased and summarized from (see full article).

Laboratory biological scientists sometimes perform procedures called “genetic screening.” Doing this can help determine if a person has a genetic disorder. Sometimes screening can help predict whether someone is likely to develop a disease base on their genetic makeup.

For example, so people might want to be tested if their family has a history of a particular disease. For example, Huntington’s disease or breast cancer can be tendencies if other family members have had these conditions.

Couples who are planning a family might be concerned about the possibility of passing on a genetic trait to their offspring. This last type of screening can look at the parent’s genotype or look at the genotype of the fetus or newborn.

Genetic testing is a complex process. Test results depend on reliable laboratory procedures and accurate translation of results. Tests also vary in sensitivity. Test Interpretation is also complex. Interpretation is complicated even for trained physicians and other health care specialists.

  • Position A. Some forms of genetic testing are okay, but we should not explore genetic testing beyond the examples provided in this article.
  • Position B. Genetic testing is a tremendous help to society. The discipline should continue to identify new ways to use the process and results.

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
  • cK-12 Molecular evidence for evolution
  • LS45 Genetics (tnsp)
  • LS45 Recombinant DNA (tns)
  • LS45 Transcription & translation (tns)

Special Notes and Notices

Instructor Emphasis:

  • Science & Engineering Practice: Ask questions and define problems.
  • Cross-Cutting Concept: Systems and System Models.

Emphasize HS-LS4-2  Construct and explanation based on evidence that biological diversity is influenced by (1) the potential for a species to increase in number (2) the heritable genetic variation of individuals in a species due to mutation and sexual reproduction (3) competition for limited resources (4) the proliferation of those organisms that are better able to survive and reproduce in the environment.

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