Week 1: Introducing…Your Classmates, the Course, Genes and Disease
This week students will get to know each other and their teacher, and will become familiar with the working of the VHS.
Students will begin to explore the Human Genome Project and the relationship between genes and disease.
Activities include ice breakers, filling out individual homepages, taking an introductory survey and answering a question set based on the Human Genome Project.
Week 2: Cellular Reproduction
This week the process of meiosis and the potential for genetic recombination is reviewed.
Activities include readings on meiosis, constructing and discussing concept maps and modeling meiosis, as well as questions sets designed and answered by the students.
"I Survived the Week" is introduced this week and will be used to bring each week to a close from now on.
Week 3: Mendelian Genetics
This week includes an exploration of Mendel's Principles of Segregation and Independent Assortment, as well applying the rules of probability to predict outcomes of genetic crosses.
Activities include readings on Mendel’s Principles, rules of probability and solving genetics problems, constructing and solving genetics problems and identifying and discussing unique characteristics, as well as “I Survived the Week”.
Week 4: Gene Expression – from DNA to protein
This week the process of gene expression is reviewed.
Activities include readings on gene expression and answering questions, constructing a concept map, gene expression simulation, identifying and discussing the mutations that can occur in hemoglobin, as well as “I Survived the Week”.
Week 5: Autosomal Recessive Inheritance
This week pedigree construction and analysis is used to determine inheritance patterns of autosomal recessive diseases.
Activities this week include constructing and interpreting pedigrees to identify major hallmarks of autosomal recessive diseases, and analyzing a case study on Cystic Fibrosis. Case study analysis will be a recurring activity for the next several weeks, as well as “I Survived the Week”.
This week introduces the "Team of Two" Project. In pairs, students will collaborate with a classmate to research two autosomal recessive diseases.
Week 6: Autosomal Dominant Inheritance
This week the emphasis is on the inheritance patters of autosomal dominant diseases.
Activities include constructing and interpreting pedigrees to identify major hallmarks of autosomal dominant diseases, and reading and discussing issues of genetic privacy, as well as “I Survived the Week”.
The "Team of Two" Project is completed, as students continue to collaborate and research two autosomal dominant diseases.
Week 7: Extensions to Mendel’s Principles
The emphasis this week is on genes that do not appear to follow simple Mendelian inheritance patterns. The difference between complete, incomplete and codominance is explored, and pleiotropy, epistatsis, penetrance and expressivity are discussed.
Activities include readings on extensions to Mendel’s Principles, exploring, identifying and discussing why certain diseases are not inherited as Mendelian ratios predict, solving a paternity case and analyzing and discussing a case study on Tourette Syndrome, as well as “I Survived the Week”.
Week 8: Sex Matters
This week sex determination, sex linked, sex influenced, and sex limited inheritance are investigated as well as X-activation.
Activities include reading about sex determination and sex linked inheritance, creating pedigrees and discuss a solution to a problem and creating and solving sex linked problems, as well as “I Survived the Week”.
A midterm will be taken during this week.
Week #9: Genomic Imprinting
What is genomic imprinting? Does is matter from which parent a chromosomes was inherited? Is it possible to get all chromosomes from one parent? These are some of the questions answered this week.
Activities include readings on genomic imprinting and uniparental disomy, researching and identifying diseases associated with imprinting and/or uniparental disomy, and characterizing and discussing Fragile X, Prader-Willi, and Angelman Syndromes, as well as “I Survived the Week”.
A group project entitled "Case Scenario" is assigned this week and will be completed over the next four weeks. This project involves developing a case scenario about a genetic disease, with students breaking up into groups and assuming various roles.
Week 10: Complex Inheritance Patterns
Polygenic and multifactorial traits and diseases that result from multifactorial conditions are the subject of the week.
Activities include readings on multigenic and multifactorial disorders, simulating the inheritance of multigenic traits, discussing the relationship between nature and nurture, and analyzing and discussing a case study on the role of genes in behavior, as well as “I Survived the Week”.
Week two of the Case Scenario Project continues to be a focus, as students research their role.
Week 11: Alterations in Chromosome Number
This week includes an investigation into causes and effects of aberrant chromosome numbers.
Activities include readings on karyotypes, nondisjunction, and related disorders, building and solving puzzles using key terminology, constructing and analyzing karyotypes, critiquing websites on diseases associated with these abnormalities, and analyzing and discussing a case study involving Down Syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as “I Survived the Week”.
Week three of the Case Scenario Project emphasizes collaboration with classmates.
Week 12: Alterations in Chromosome Structure
Chromosomal mutations including insertions, duplications, deletions, translocations, and diseases that result from them are investigated this week.
Activities include readings on cytogenics and abnormal chromosome structure, preparing and critiquing graphics representing abnormal chromosome structure, constructing an informational newsletter on disorders resulting from these abnormalities, and writing a song describing the major types of chromosomal mutations, as well as “I Survived the Week”.
The Case Scenario Project is completed this week.
Week 13: Gene Linkage
This week chromosome maps, gene linkage and inheritance patterns of linked genes are investigated.
Activities include readings on chromosome maps and gene linkage, modeling linked genes, reading and discussing a case study on blood type and Nail-Patella Syndrome, calculating cross over frequencies and constructing chromosome maps, as well as “I Survived the Week”.
Week 14: Genes and Cancer
This week involves the investigation of the genes and cancer and tumor biology along with reading and discussing the current cancer topics and researching a particular type of cancer.
Activities include readings on cancer and tumor biology, development and answering questions, discussion on current topics in cancer research, and research on a chosen type of cancer, as well as “I Survived the
Week 15: Your Genes? Your Choice?
As scientists probe the human genetic legacy, we as enlightened citizens should have a basic understanding of what is happening in the modern world of genetics. Gaining an understanding of gene mapping, the human genome, gene therapy, and gene cloning is important because these new technologies are surely changing our world. Is scientific technology controlling the destiny of life? These questions and others will certainly be debated for decades.
Activities include researching and discussing issues associated with genetic testing and the Human Genome Project, analyzing and discussing a case study involving Huntington’s Disease, writing a genetic legacy and reflecting on experiences in the course.
A final exam will be taken during this week.
Discuss examples of inherited disorders, their symptoms, and their causes.
Demonstrate how modern knowledge and techniques have led to understanding the cause of genetic disorders.
Relate genes and protein synthesis to the expression of phenotypes.
Describe techniques that permit diagnosis of a genetic disorder.
Demonstrate how increased knowledge and advances in medicine have improved the quality of life for people with the disorder.
Use a Punnett square and a pedigree as a tool to provide information about the possibility of having a child with a genetic disorder.
Discuss the impact of the disease on the victim, their family, and society.
Disseminate, use and manage information collected from a variety of sources.
Communicate and collaborate with other people in other locations.