Patients with a genetic disorder that increases the risk of severe heart disease took a gene editing medicine called VERVE-101 in a clinical trial. Have students answer a set of graphical analysis questions to learn more about the trial’s outcomes and the scientists’ proposed next steps.
Humans have modified organisms for millennia through selective breeding and other techniques. But only in the past few decades have people gained the ability to directly alter organisms’ DNA to create Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). GMOs can help advance fields such as medicine and agriculture. In this activity, students will learn more about GMOs and their uses before creating an awareness campaign to address GMO misconceptions.
Scientists are still chipping away at the challenge of completing the puzzle of human genetics. Draw diagrams of DNA, chromosomes, genes and other genetics terms to review their relationships before piecing together the new findings of recent studies that fully sequenced Y chromosomes for the first time.
Scientists thought the “love hormone” oxytocin was required to help animals form social bonds. In this Guide, students will learn how a study using a gene-editing tool called CRISPR is questioning that perspective — at least for prairie voles.
Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “Prairie voles can find partners just fine without the ‘love hormone’ oxytocin,” which explores how scientists upended a common understanding of the hormone by using CRISPR technology. A version of the article “Voles don’t need oxytocin to bond” appears in the February 25, 2023 issue of Science News.
Students will read and answer questions about the online Science News article “Black Death immunity came at a cost to modern-day health.” A version of the article, “Plague immunity left a lasting mark,” appears in the November 19, 2022 issue of Science News.
Population genetics bridges the basic concepts of genes and inheritance, often studied at the individual level, with the larger concept of how a species evolves. In this discussion, students will review basic genetics concepts and investigate an example of evolution within the human population.
Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “Calculating a dog’s age in human years is harder than you think,” which explores how scientists used molecular biology to more accurately compare canine aging with human aging. A version of the story, “Calculating a dog’s age requires a bit more math,” can be found in the August 15, 2020 issue of Science News.
Scientists would like to breed cats that don’t trigger allergies in people. By constructing and analyzing a Punnett square for two low-allergen cats, students will review key concepts including patterns and probabilities of inheritance, genotype, phenotype, genes, alleles, chromosomes and mutations.