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Exhibit Guide for Grades 6-9
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Exhibit Guide for Grades 6-9


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  • 1. 1 Exhibit Guide for Grades 6-9 This module was created to help teachers and students get the most out of their visit to the Genetics: Decoding Life exhibit by focusing student energy toward specific learning opportunities at the Museum. Use the resources provided in this module in whatever way works best for your group of students.
  • 2. Table of Contents Acknowledgments 1 Module Framework 2 Teacher Information Pages 3-4 Genetics: Decoding Life Exhibit Map 5 Teacher Exhibit Cheat Sheet 6-8 Human Genome Project Activity 9-11 Introduction to the Human Genome Project 12 Human Genome Project Letter from Virginia 13 Cloning Activity 14-15 Copy Cat! Copy Cat! 16 Cloning letter from Bobby 17 Mutations and Variations Activity 18-20 Secrets of the Dead 21 Mutations Letter from Sam 22 Genetic Engineering Activity 23-25 Organ Transplants from Animals 26 Genetic Engineering Letter from Marie 27 Development Activity 28-33 Sharing DNA 34 Development Letter from Lou 35 Fold-a-Fact 36-37 Rubric for Post-visit letters 38 Genetics Glossary 39 Genetics Bibliography 40-41 Genetics Web Sites 42-43 Illinois Learning Standards and the Genetics: Decoding Life Module 44
  • 3. 1 Acknowledgments The Educators’ Inventive Genius Series is funded by grants from Bank One The Chicago Community Trust Credit Suisse First Boston Golder Family Foundation Kaplan Foundation Kraft Peoples Energy Museum of Science and Industry Pam Barry, Education Coordinator Joy Reeves, Educator on Loan, Chicago Public Schools Elory Rozner, K-12 Manager Sarah Tschaen, Education Coordinator Consultants Erin Loos, Copy Editor Camie O’Shea, Teacher, Pilsen Community Academy, Chicago Miguel Santana, Teacher, Pritzker Elementary School, Chicago Design, illustration and production by KerrCom Multimedia
  • 4. 2 Module Framework This guide includes pre-visit, on-site and post-visit activities to enhance student learning and exploration at the Museum. Outlined below is the general framework. Spark: Pre-visit classroom activities will grab students’ attention and spark their interest (teacher-facilitated). Wonder: In the classroom, students will use a variety of resources to prepare them for the questions they will answer at the Museum (student-directed). Explore: While at the Museum, students will visit topic-related exhibits using a Museum Trip Organizer called a Fold-a-fact to record information that will help guide them in answering their questions (student-directed). Connect: After their visit, students will synthesize, analyze and evaluate their gathered information and ideas (teacher-facilitated). Invent: In these post-visit activities, students will use their creativity and research to devise a solution to a problem or answer questions (student-directed). Tell: Students will communicate what they have learned in these post-visit activities (student-directed).
  • 5. 3 Teacher Information Pages Pre-visit Spark: The Spark Activities are used to SPARK interest in the five components of the Genetics: Decoding Life exhibit. We suggest using all of them in your classroom prior to visiting the museum. If you are unable to do all of them, we highly recommend the Human Genome Project activity. Wonder: After the Spark activities (used as introductions to the 5 areas of the exhibit) are complete, divide your students into 5 groups. Each group is assigned one of the Genetics topics and is given the article that relates to that component of the exhibit. For example, the Cloning group will read “Copy Cat! Copy Cat!” Use Table A as a guide. After they have read and discussed the articles in their groups, give each group the corresponding MSI Scientist Letter. Tell the class these are typical letters the Museum receives from other students and that we need their help researching the answers and writing the responses. Once they have read and discussed the letter, have the students decide which questions they will research on the trip to the Museum. Students may think of additional questions of their own that develop from the discussion. Distribute the Genetics Fold-a-Fact sheets. Instruct students how to fold the paper into accordion folds so the title page is on top. Students are to write a different question from their group’s MSI Scientist Letter in the first shape labeled “Question #1.” They are to write a different question in the shape labeled “Question #2.” Ensure that every question from the letter is assigned to a student in the group. To help students locate answers at the Museum, have them write the abbreviations of their focus area under their names (C for Cloning, M for Mutations & Variations, HG for Human Genome Project, GE for Genetic Engineering and D for Development). Use Table A as a guide. You may want to bring a copy of each MSI Scientist Letter on the field trip to use as a reference.
  • 6. 4 During Visit Explore: Students should take their Fold-a-Facts with them to the Museum. Allow 10 minutes for students to orient themselves with the exhibit’s layout before working on their questions. You may also wish to give students some time before they begin their work to look at the Egg Hatchery and other interesting exhibits that will spark their curiosity. Using the Exhibit Map, students will locate the pod that relates to their group's MSI Scientist Letter. They will investigate the information and activities in the exhibit and, in the corresponding numbered shape on their Fold-a-Facts, write the facts they will use to answer the questions in their MSI Scientist Letter. Post-visit Invent: Once your trip is complete, your students should write a letter to the MSI Scientist that answers the questions of the original letter. They should use the facts and comments they have written on their Fold-a-Facts. Connect: After the letters have been written, have students cut out apart the shapes from their Fold-a- Facts and fit pieces together to form a double helix. To save class time, have students cut and assemble their Fold-a-Facts as homework. As a class, discuss the main ideas each student gathered. Use the Connecting Shape to link the students’ Fold-a-Facts. Students may wish to link their Fold-a-Facts by writing opinions, reactions or questions. Tell: Students will send the letters to the Museum to be published on the website. They will explain the connection between the questions and facts they linked on the classroom helix. Pod Article Letter Human Genome {HG} Introduction to the HGP Virginia Cloning {C} Copy Cat Bobby Mutations {M} Secrets of the Dead Sam Genetic Engineering {GE} Organs for Transplant Marie Development {D} Sharing DNA Lou
  • 7. 5 Genetics: Decoding Life Exhibit Map The goal of this field trip to the Genetics: Decoding Life exhibit is to give students a better understanding of genetics and the modern technology associated with it. Before you get to the museum Be sure all students have the appropriate Fold-a-Fact and a pen or pencil. Students should have already written their Fold-a-Fact questions that they will research in order to answer their MSI Scientist Letter. Each student will have different questions that focus on two main areas. Students should have written the abbreviations of their focus areas on the title page of their Fold-a-Facts (C for Cloning, M for Mutations & Variations, HG for Human Genome Project, GE for Genetic Engineering and D for Development). These abbreviations will help you direct students to the appropriate area of the exhibit. Starting at the Museum Chick Begin your exploration of Genetics: Hatchery Virtual Decoding Life by allowing students iv st Embryo ct ti ra en e te ci 10 minutes to walk through the In a S D Chick Be GE Hatchery exhibit without searching for Be a Gene Therapist D information or taking notes. This Genetically Interactive Worms ie Engineered C D ie ov ov potato M M will give them an idea of what is plants M M ov in the exhibit, while sparking ov Frogs GE Worms ie GE HG ie Gen their interest. t Be a Genetic e ti en Counselor Interactive pm cE ng in lo ee ve rin g De During the Tour Genome interactive Students should look for information C Explore your MOVIE pertaining to their MSI Scientist MOVIE M The Human HG Human HG Future of Genome Project HG Letter. Information can be found in Genetics GE Genome Project D Explore your interactives and movies. All Genome interactive M students should watch the “Future Cloning Interactive C Iris Garden of Genetics” movie. Use the Exhibit Map to help students navigate the Cloned C Fruit M ie ie C exhibit. Flies ov Mice ov M M M M Cloning ov ov Cloned Fruit Develops ie ie Mice Flies Mutation Interactive M Mutations & Variations Life All Entrance From DNA Entrance
  • 8. 6 Teacher Exhibit Cheat Sheet This “cheat sheet” will tell you where to find information in the exhibits. It also provides some suggested answers to the MSI Scientist Letters. Use the Exhibit Map to help students find the information for their group’s MSI Scientist Letter. All students should watch the “Future of Genetics” movie. The information contained in each section below is available in the specified pods. The rubric relates to how much of this information students include in their letter. 1. {HG} Human Genome Project Letter from Virginia (Pods: The Human Genome Project and Genetic Counseling Interactive.) ∑ • Watching the movies “The Human Genome Project” and “Future of Genetics” will give additional, in-depth information to answer the letter. • The Genetic Counselor interactive takes some time to go through an entire case study. You could ∑ assign a different case to each student in the group so all the cases are covered. • Genetic counseling situations: sickle cell disease, breast cancer, Huntington’s disease and retino- ∑ blastoma. Advice: get a family history; consult an experienced genetic counselor, patient advocate, disease survivor or parent of a child with the disease; and get all the facts before making a decision. • Scientists will be able to use gene therapy to cure specific diseases or predict whether a person will ∑ get sick. • If people know that they have certain genes predisposing them to heart disease or another type of ∑ illness, they can make changes in their lifestyle before they become sick. • Chromosomes are DNA. ∑ ∑ • ∑Some genetic diseases are cystic fibrosis, hemophilia and Down syndrome. ∑ 2. {C} Cloning Letter from Bobby (Pods: Cloning and Genetic Engineering) • Watching the cloning movie will give in-depth information about how the mouse was cloned. ∑ • The Cloning interactive gives students an understanding of how cloning is performed and lets them ∑ ∑ practice cloning techniques.
  • 9. 7 • The Genetic Engineering pod gives information on how this technology works. ∑ ∑ • Clones are made from different eggs, at different times and inside different mothers. The clone and ∑ ∑ the original will have different experiences that shape their personalities. • You would need a cell from Rocky II and an egg cell from a female dog. The nucleus from the Rocky II ∑ cell would be inserted into enucleated egg cell, which would then be implanted into a surrogate mother, where it would develop. • Have no idea how much the procedure would cost. Better ask the cloning company. 3. {M} Mutations Letter from Sam (Pods: Mutations & Variations, Human Genome Project interactive, and Gene Therapy Interactive in Genetic Engineering) • Good information is available in the Mutations & Variations interactive. • Diseases caused by mutations include hemophilia and cystic fibrosis. • The Gene therapy Interactive requires students to listen and think before making decisions. • Gene therapy—Blocked arteries in heart: best treatment was DNA injection, which worked very well. • Gene therapy—Defective white blood cells: best treatment was in vitro gene transfer, which worked well in the beginning, but new cells could die off and be replaced by defective ones. The patient was advised to continue to take medicine. • Gene therapy—Cystic fibrosis: best treatment was viral vector that, while the most effective for CF, provided only mixed results. • The mutations that change the way things look are insertion, deletion and nonsense mutations. • No, people cannot mutate into flies. Flies are in the exhibit because they breed so quickly, which makes it easy to study the changes that occur generation after generation.
  • 10. 8 4. {GE} Genetic Engineering Letter from Marie (Pods: Genetic Engineering and Development) • Watching the movie about pigs and milk protein will supply most of the information about genetic engineering. • Watching the movie “Constructing a Fish” in the Development pod provides information on how genes control development. • ∑Yes, scientists are using pigs to help hemophiliacs by using genetic engineering to develop human factor 9, a protein that is necessary for blood to clot. • Scientists insert random mutations into different parts of different cells and watch what happens. By ∑ comparing the genes of healthy and mutated fish, they can tell which genes affect which areas of development. With this information, scientists can infer which human genes control the development of our hearts and eyes. 5. {D} Development Letter from Lou (Pods: Development, Virtual Embryo and Chick Hatchery) • Watching the movie on worms will answer the first few questions. • Listening to and following the directions of the Virtual Embryo activity will help students to understand development. • Humans have cells with similar functions to worm cells. Scientists don’t know how aging takes place, but, by altering the genes that control aging in worms, they hope to learn which genes are involved in human aging. • Certain genes that direct development, called master controllers, send signals throughout the genome. These signals tell other genes to begin forming the heart, eye and other organs. • The Virtual Embryo activity allows students to watch a developing embryo and activate the master controllers so certain organs develop at the correct time. This activity demonstrates that there is a pattern to human development and that many genes work together to coordinate this process. • The Black Java chicks almost became extinct through cross-breeding. MSI joined Garfield Farms conservation project to rescue the breed.
  • 11. 9 Human Genome Project Activity (Adapted from “The Gene Hunters,” Scientific American) Objective This activity will help students visualize and understand the building blocks of the DNA double helix. 4th 11C 7th 11C 5th 11B 8th 11C 6th 12A Materials • copies of nucleotide templates • scissors (two per student) • tape • straws (eight per student) Background Information DNA is a special molecule that carries the “code” for every protein manufactured in your body. It is a long molecule made up of units called nucleotides. Each nucleotide has three basic parts: a five- carbon sugar called deoxyribose, a phosphate group and a nitrogenous (nitrogen-containing) base. There are four kinds of nitrogenous bases in DNA: guanine, cytosine, adenine and thymine. The Watson and Crick model of DNA shows that, due to their specific structures, adenine always pairs with thymine, and guanine always pairs with cytosine. These nitrogenous bases connect like interlocking pieces of a puzzle; each base pairs up only with its correct partner. Procedure 1. Color the four nitrogenous bases the following colors: cytosine-blue, guanine-green, thymine- yellow and adenine-red. 2. Use scissors to cut apart the nitrogenous bases so that you have 16 pieces in total. Put the pieces in a spot that is convenient for everyone in the group to choose from. 3. Cut each straw in half, making sure that all the pieces are of equal length. 4. Use tape to attach the square end of one of the nitrogenous bases to a straw piece.
  • 12. 10 5. Repeat this procedure until you have finished attaching straws to each of the nitrogenous bases. Once a nitrogenous base is attached to a straw, it can be considered a nucleotide. A nucleotide is composed of deoxyribose sugar, a phosphate group and a nitrogenous base. 6. Choose four nucleotides, each one containing a different nitrogenous base (A, T, G and C) facing the same way. 7. Insert one end of a straw segment into the open end of another straw segment (i.e., connecting nucleotides together). 8. Continue inserting the straw ends and connecting the nucleotides until you have assembled a chain of four nucleotides. 9. Trade your chain with someone else. Construct a complementary strand of DNA for their chain. This complementary strand must have a base sequence that pairs with the already completed strand, i.e., adenine must be paired with thymine. 10. Use tape to connect the two strands. The shaped ends of the nitrogenous bases must fit into each other. 11. Repeat this procedure for another four of your remaining nucleotides, attaching them first to each other and then trading with another student to make a complementary strand that you connect with the already completed strand. 12. Attach all the strands in the class together, putting a slight twist in its shape. This twist creates the characteristic double helix of the DNA molecule. Questions for discussion 1. What do you notice about the nucleotide pairs? 2. What do the straws represent? 3. If one strand of DNA had bases ordered GATCCCGGTTAGAACT, what would be the bases of its complementary strand?
  • 13. 11 Guanine Cytosine Adenine Thymine Cytosine Guanine Thymine Adenine
  • 14. 12 Introduction to the Human Genome Project The Human Genome Project (HGP) is one of the great accomplishments of history. Research teams from all over the world worked together to map the chemical sequence of the three billion nucleotide base pairs—otherwise known as the genome—of members of our species, Homo sapiens. We can now read nature’s complete genetic blueprint for building a human being. These three billion base pairs include an estimated 30,000 genes. The rest of the genome— perhaps 99 percent of it—is sequences with unknown function. Determining the order and organization of all this material has been likened to tearing six volumes of an encyclopedia into pieces, then trying to put it all back together to read the information. The effort was well worth it, many scientists say, because it will reveal important information about many common and complex diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer's disease. This knowledge will revolutionize how people make decisions about their lives, change how doctors practice medicine and how scientists study biology and how we think of ourselves as individuals and as a species. However, in order to understand the human genome, scientists found they must also learn about the genomes of various animals commonly used in biomedical research, such as mice, fruit flies and roundworms. Such organisms are called model organisms because they’re used as research models for how the human organism behaves. -- Adapted from the National Human Genome Research Institute Website, and the National Reference Center for Bioethics Literature
  • 15. 13 Dear MSI Scientist: I heard that scientists have finally finished identifying all the genes in the human genome. What do they think they will be able to do with this information? Where is my DNA, anyway? I heard that they identified genes that may be linked to diseases. Please tell me the names of these diseases. How will knowing my genome help me have a healthier life? My guess is that people could be faced with a hard decision if they knew or thought they had a genetic problem. When I use the Genetic Counseling activity, what potential situations will I see and what possible advice could I give? Thanks for your help. Your friend in science, Virginia
  • 16. 14 Cloning Activity (Adapted from “The Bionic Body,” Scientific American Frontiers) Objective This hands-on activity will help students visualize and understand the cloning process. Students simulate the removal of a cell nucleus and the insertion of an alternate nucleus. 4th 11C 7th 11C 5th 11A 8th 11C 6th 12A Materials • Safety goggles • Colored sprinkles • Plate • Round gelatin mold (cut into 3-inch squares) or individual gelatin cups • Medicine dropper • Plastic knives Background When an animal is cloned, the nucleus from one of its cells is inserted into an egg cell body taken from another animal. The transplanted nucleus takes over the new cell body and produces a cell with the properties of the transplanted nucleus. When this cell divides, its daughter cells have the same properties. The organism that arises from these divisions is the clone of the animal from which the original nucleus was taken.
  • 17. 15 Procedure 1. Put on safety goggles. 2. Put the gelatin mound on the plate. Slice the upper half and carefully support it while scattering several sprinkles in the center. Cover up the blob. The sprinkles (the “nucleus”) should be visible in the center of the loose gelatin. 3. Squeeze out the air from a medicine dropper bulb. 4. Poke the delivery end of the dropper into the gelatin mass. 5. Carefully direct the opening of the dropper to the “nucleus.” 6. When the opening is in front of the “nucleus,” release the pressure on the dropper bulb. 7. Remove the dropper. 8. Exchange gelatin masses with another student. Insert the “nucleus” you removed from your gelatin into this new sample. Questions 1. What did the gelatin represent? 2. What did the round sprinkles represent? 3. Why did the bulb of the dropper need to be squeezed as the dropper was introduced into the gelatin? 4. What do you think is the hardest part of the cloning procedure?
  • 18. 16 Copy Cat! Copy Cat! The fur is flying over the world’s first cloned cat By Claudia Wallis She has big green eyes, perky pink ears and fluffy fur that just begs to be stroked. But 8- week-old cc (short for copy cat) is no ordinary kitten. Introduced by Texas scientists in February 2002, she is the world’s first cloned cat, the product of a lab experiment. Cloning is a high-tech way of breeding an animal that is an exact genetic copy of a parent. Scientists have already cloned mice, pigs, goats and sheep. The Texas company that paid for the research that produced cc—Genetic Savings & Clone—hopes to clone people’s pets! To create cc, researchers at Texas A&M University took a cell and a nucleus from a female cat named Rainbow and placed them into an egg cell from a cat named Allie. Genes are the chemical instructions that determine what an individual creature is like, from its size to its eye color. The egg developed inside Allie. On December 22, she gave birth to cc, who is genetically the same as Rainbow. “It was exciting to witness,” says Lou Hawthorne, head of Genetic Savings & Clone. “She’s such a cutie.” But not everyone was charmed by cc. “We must question the social purpose here,” said Wayne Pacele of the US Humane Society. “More than 5 million cats are destroyed when shelters can’t find homes for them. Why clone more cats?” “Just because you are capable of doing [it],” says Pacele, “doesn’t mean you should.” Hawthorne is gambling that pet lovers will do almost anything to keep a beloved animal around, even if it means spending thousands to recreate Fluffy or Fido. And the clone is not an exact copy. cc, for example, looks different from Rainbow because a cat’s markings are not shaped by genes alone. And who knows if she’ll act like Rainbow. Personality—perhaps the most valued trait in a pet—cannot be cloned. Time For Kids March 1, 2002 Vol 7, No. 18
  • 19. 17 Dear MSI Scientist, Last month I lost my dog, Rocky II. Rocky II was such a great pet. He knew a lot of nice tricks, such as how to fetch, sit and roll over. He obeyed my every word and was always by my side through all kinds of fun and trouble. Recently, I read an article about a company that clones pets, and I became really excited about the idea of having Rocky II cloned into Rocky III. It will be so great , to have another dog that looks and acts exactly like my Rocky II. We ll be able to get right back to playing together and being best friends, right? What will I need to have from Rocky II in order to have Rocky III cloned? How long will it take to clone Rocky III? Will he look and act the same? Oh, and how much money will it cost to have him cloned? Anxiously waiting, Bobby
  • 20. 18 Mutations & Variations Activity (Adapted from “Monstrous Mutations,” Morgan Park High School) Objective This hands-on activity is a simulation of how mutations can affect survival skills in animals. 4th 11A 7th 11A 5th 11B 8th 12A 6th 11A Materials • enough dry peanuts in the shell to supply nine peanuts per group of three students (Candies wrapped in plastic, such as SMARTIES, can be substituted for peanuts) • blanket • cotton • table or desk • stopwatch • one cup for every group • duct or masking tape • 30 wooden craft sticks • string • six pairs of goggles • paper bag containing the letters A through H on slips of paper Background Students form groups of three. Each student will simulate an animal with a mutation that can only digest peanuts (or candy) as its food source. The goals of the group are to: 1. gather the food (nine peanuts per group). 2. store the food for later use (place the nine peanuts in your letter-designated container 3. retrieve the food at a later time (remove the nine peanuts from the container and return with the peanuts to the home location). 4. process and consume the food (remove the peanuts from the shells or candy from the wrapper, and consume them [or crush them to appear as eaten]). Procedure 1. Each group finds out which mutation has occurred to their group by selecting a letter from the paper bag. The letter drawn will correspond to the characteristic listed on Chart 1 (page M-2). The letter also corresponds to the letter of each group’s home location. 2. Each group prepares itself to represent the characteristic produced by their mutation. Do not force any child to be taped against his or her will. Allow him or her to suggest an alternative that will produce the same effect.
  • 21. 19 Letter Characteristic produced by mutation Extremely long fingernails (tape wooden A craft sticks to fingers) B No fingers (tape each hand closed) Lack of peripheral vision (attach long C strips of cardboard to sides of goggles) Hands fused together in front of body D (place hands together in front of body and tape or tie them together) E Short stride (tie shoelaces together or string around ankles) F No arms (tape or tie arms to the side of body with tape) Arms fused together behind back at the G wrists (place arms behind back and tape or tie at the wrists) H Blind (place tape over goggles or use blindfold)
  • 22. 20 Procedure (cont’d) 3. Spread the peanuts or candies on the blanket. Containers marked with letters for each group are set in another part of the room. A B C D E F G A 4. Each group positions itself at its specified home location, away from the lettered containers. B E D 5. Start the stopwatch and instruct each group to proceed to C G the blanket and gather nine peanuts. These peanuts are put in a container marked with the letter of the group. The group F members then return to their home base and call out their group number. Announce the elapsed time and have students record it on their charts. NOTE: Do not stop the stopwatch until the last piece of food is eaten or crushed. Announce the time it took for this portion of the activity, but the length of the entire activity must be recorded without stopping the stopwatch. 6. The group members then proceed back to the lettered A B C D E F G container to retrieve their food. Once the group has A removed all nine peanuts from the container, they return B E to their home location. The group opens the peanut shells or candy wrappers and removes the contents. Each group D member will consume three peanuts or candies (or crush C G them to appear eaten). When the group calls out their group letter, announce the elapsed time. The group then F computes and records the elapsed time for the second portion of the activity. NOTE: Some animals, desperate for food, may try to ransack and steal another group’s stash. Be sure not to allow violent reactions. Some groups may want to help others that have more severe mutations. This is allowed if it occurs, but you should not suggest it. Discussion 1. Which mutation caused the greatest delay in acquiring food? 2. Which mutation caused the greatest delay in processing and consuming food? 3. What would these mutations do to the population of the environment? 4. What were some adaptations to the mutations that group members came up with?
  • 23. 21 Secrets of the Dead: Mystery of the Black Death No one knows exactly why, but in the late 1320s or early 1330s, bubonic plague broke out in China. Flea-infested rats spread bubonic plague. In 1347, an Italian fleet sailed to the Black Sea, a port approximately halfway between Europe and China where ships from both continents would meet to trade. The ships returned to Sicily, an island off the mainland of Italy. Soon it was discovered that most of the sailors on those ships were dead. Authorities immediately ordered the fleet out of the harbor. But it was too late. The town was overcome with rats, fleas and the plague. The disease spread across Europe and, within five years, it had killed 25 million people – one third of the entire European population. The plague continued to appear year after year. In September 1665, the village of Eyam, England, was quarantined. No one was allowed to leave the village. The authorities believed that when every one in the village was dead, the disease would be stopped. A year later, however, when outsiders entered the town, they found half the residents were still alive! These survivors told how they had had close contact with the sick but never caught the disease. The village gravedigger handled hundreds of corpses, but he survived. How could the Black Death not have affected these people? Dr. Stephen O’Brien of the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C., has been studying this unusual situation. He suggests that a mutated form of the gene CCR5, called “delta 32,” could be the reason the plague bacterium did not affect some residents in Eyam. To find out whether the Eyam plague survivors may have carried delta 32, Dr. O’Brien tested the DNA of their modern-day descendants. The levels of delta 32 found in Eyam were the same as in other regions of Europe that had been affected by the plague. He also found these levels of delta 32 in America, which was, for the most part, settled by European plague survivors and their descendants. Native Africans, East Asians and Asian Indians showed no signs of having delta 32 at all. -- Adapted from
  • 24. 22 Dear MSI Scientist, My teacher said mutations are changes in DNA. I know some diseases are caused by , mutations, but I can t remember what they are right now. Please tell me the names of some diseases caused by mutations. Also, I know there are some scientists who try to help people who get sick. When I use the Gene Therapy activity, what examples of gene therapy will I see, and how well do they work? My teacher said that sometimes you see the results of mutations and sometimes you , don t. What kinds of mutations change the way things look? Please give me an example. , By the way, why are there flies in the Mutations & Variations pod? People can t , mutate into a fly, can they? Now, I m scared. Please send your answer right away! Your friend in science, Sam
  • 25. 23 Genetic Engineering Activity (Adapted from “Dragon Science,” Scientific American Frontiers) Objective This activity is a simplified version of an attempt to produce a hybrid plant. As this activity shows, future generations of the hybrid lose the advantage bestowed on the original generation. 4th 11A 7th 11A 5th 11B 8th 11C 6th 12A Materials • 100 objects, 50 of one color and 50 of a second color (e.g., bingo markers, poker chips, dried beans, coins, M&M’s) • pencil • graph paper • paper • two containers large enough to hold all 100 objects Background Information People have been selecting desirable traits in crops since they changed from being hunter-gatherers to living in agricultural societies. Various breeding techniques have given us many improved organisms, among them tomatoes and roses. Plant breeders have developed techniques for producing hybrids, offspring with the desirable properties of each parent. Geneticists select for desirable characteristics that will give the hybrid organisms a competitive edge (hybrid vigor). However, there is a downside to selective breeding. Hybrids tend to lose the hybrid vigor of the original due to a process called genetic recombination. This means future generations of the original hybrid gradually lose the advantages of the original as more generations are produced. In the Museum’s Genetics: Decoding Life exhibit, examples of genetic engineering show how this loss of hybrid vigor can be eliminated through technology. Prior to this activity, students should have been exposed to basic genetic concepts before beginning this activity. They need to know, for example, that genes occur in pairs and that offspring inherit one copy of each gene from each parent and that the copy of each parent’s gene is inherited at random. Students also need a clear understanding of Punnett Squares. Students do not need previous exposure to molecular genetics concepts, such as the structure of DNA or the genetic code.
  • 26. 24 The Activity Plant A has thick stems that retain more water in times of drought. Plant B (another variety of the same plant) is able to grow without much water. A hybrid of these two plants will combine the good characteristics of each to produce a plant that has a better chance of surviving drought conditions. In this activity, one color represents the gene for thick stems. The second color represents the gene for the ability to grow without much water. You want to produce plants that have thick stems and don’t need much water, the best characteristic of each plant. Each hybrid plant inherits one gene from each of its purebred parents. In this activity, one parent plant has both A genes (AA) for thick stems. The other has both B genes (BB) for ability to grow without much water. If each parent contributes one of its pair of genes to its offspring, the AA individual will always contribute an A gene while the BB individual will always contribute a B gene. The resulting offspring of such parents will always be AB. This plant will be capable of surviving a drought better than either parent, since it will not only have thick stems but will also require less water. Procedure 1. Put the 50 objects of color A in one pile to represent parent A’s gene pool. Do the same for the 50 objects of color B, creating a gene pool for parent B. 2. Take one object from group A and one object from group B. Place them in one of the containers. Each time you do this, put a tally mark in the first-generation column of Table 1. How many hybrid plants did you produce? NOTE: By making pairs, you are simulating hybrid production. All of these first-generation offspring are hybrids; they would survive a drought because each has drought-resistant genes. 3. All 100 objects should now be in one container. Mix them thoroughly. Without looking, remove two objects. If you get two of color A, set them aside. If you get two of color B, also set them aside. If you get one of each color (AB), make a tally mark in the second-generation column of Table 1. Then, place these objects in the second container. These are the plants that have the best characteristic of the parent plants. Keep doing this, discarding any pair of the same color and saving any pair that is one of each color, until all objects are removed from the first container.
  • 27. 25 4. Mix up the objects that you put in the container. Repeat the selection process for the third-generation column using only the AB objects in the container. Draw two objects, discard pairs of the same color and save pairs of two colors. Make a tally mark in the third-generation column only when a mixed pair is drawn. 5. Repeat the process for the fourth-, fifth- and sixth-generation columns of Table 1 (unless you wind up with zero sooner). If the total number of mixed pairs for the sixth-generation column is still greater than zero, you could continue further generations until you reach zero. 6. Plot the population of hybrids (number of mixed pairs) on the y-axis and the generation number on the x-axis and connect with a smooth curve. Questions 1. What happened to the number of hybrid individuals in succeeding generations after the first generation? 2. Why does the number of hybrids change as it does? 3. How do these results explain why farmers must keep buying new hybrid seeds each year, instead of planting seed from the hybrid crop? 4. Select a flower to “develop.” What characteristics would you select to create a new product? Explain why. 5. How could you use science and technology to make sure you got a hybrid every time in every generation? Hybrid Population for Each Generation Generation 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Number of Hybrids
  • 28. 26 Organ Transplants from Animals: Examining the Possibilities by Rebecca D. Williams “You'll need a liver transplant,” Dr. Zeno says. She scribbles quickly on her prescription pad and dates it: April 17, 2025. “Take this to the hospital pharmacy and we'll schedule the surgery for Friday morning.” The patient sighs—he’s visibly relieved that his body will be rid of hepatitis forever. “What kind of liver will it be?” he asks. “Well, it's from a pig,” Zeno replies. “But it will be genetically altered with your DNA. Your body won’t even know the difference.” Obviously, this is science fiction. But according to some scientists, it could be a reality someday. An animal organ, probably from a pig, could be genetically altered with human genes to trick a patient’s immune system into accepting it as its own flesh and blood. Called xenotransplants, such animal-to-human procedures would be lifesaving for the thousands of people waiting for organ donations. There have been about 30 experimental xenotransplants since the turn of the century. -- Adapted from FDA Consumer Magazine, June 1996
  • 29. 27 Dear MSI Scientist, My teacher said that scientists have found a way to help people with hemophilia, a genetic blood disease, by doing some kind of experiment with pigs. Please tell me if that is true and what they did that helps people. Also, what other organisms are used to make proteins for humans? I think I saw some frogs with glow-in-the-dark eyes at the Museum. Is that right? How did they make that happen and why? , If they can change a frog s eyes, can scientists construct an animal from a single cell? What happens if genes involved in development become damaged or mutate? Does this change the way the organism develops? Looking forward to hearing from you. Yours very truly, Marie
  • 30. 28 Development Activity (Adapted from The GENETICS project, University of Washington) Objective: This hands-on activity is a simulation of basic genetic concepts and the changing frequencies of genes in the population. 4th 11A 7th 12A 5th 11B 8th 12A 6th 12A Materials (for each pair of students) • one “gene pool” container (e.g., petri dish, plastic bowl) • eight green markers (e.g., toothpicks, jelly beans, squares of paper, etc.) • eight red markers • eight yellow markers Background Prior to this activity, students should have been exposed to basic genetic concepts. They need to know, for example, that genes occur in pairs and that offspring inherit one copy of each gene from each parent and that the copy of each parent’s gene is inherited at random. Students also need a clear understanding of dominant and recessive genes and should know how to use Punnett squares. Students do not need previous exposure to molecular genetics concepts, such as the structure of DNA or the genetic code. Procedure The colored markers represent three different forms of a gene (green, red and yellow) that controls one fish trait: skin color. The table below tells you which forms (alleles) of the gene are dominant, which are recessive, and which are equal or co-dominant. The green gene (G) is… dominant to all other color genes The red gene (r) is … recessive to green and equal (co-dominant) to yellow* The yellow gene (y) is … recessive to green and equal (co-dominant) to red* *Combining red and yellow genes results in a fish with orange skin color. REMEMBER: EACH MARKER REPRESENTS A GENE, NOT A FISH.
  • 31. 29 D Procedure (cont’d) 1. Count your markers to make sure you have eight of each color, for a total of 24 markers. 2. Determine which gene combinations produce which fish colors and fill in the answers on the table below. Fish Color Gene Combinations Green GG, GR, etc. Red Yellow Orange Based on the answers you gave in the table above, answer the questions below. (You may use Punnett Squares if you wish.) • Can two red fish have green offspring? Why or why not? • Can two orange fish have red offspring? Why or why not? • Can two green fish have orange offspring? Why or why not? 3. Make a first generation of fish. To do this, pull out genes (markers) in pairs without looking and set them aside. This simulates the way offspring are formed by sperm from the male fish combining randomly with eggs from the female fish. Record the results of each pair in Table A (page D-4). Put the genes back into the gene pool, and draw another pair. Repeat until you have recorded 12 pairs. An example fish in the first generation is given in Table A in the shaded boxes (do not include this fish in your calculations). 4. Count the number of each color of fish offspring and record in Table B (page D-4) in the first-generation row. The stream where the fish live is very green and lush, with lots of plants. The green fish are very well- camouflaged from predators in this environment, and the red and orange fish are fairly well hidden also. However, none of the yellow fish survive or reproduce because predators can easily spot them in the green environment. If you have any yellow fish (fish in which both markers are yellow), pull those markers out of the gene pool and set them aside. 5. Shake up all the genes you have left in the gene pool (remember, you have set aside any yellow fish). Draw a second generation of fish. Record your gene pairs in Table A. Count the fish of each color and record the numbers in the second-generation row in Table B. Set aside yellow fish, and shake up the surviving fish in the gene pool.
  • 32. 30 6. Well-camouflaged fish live longer and have more offspring, so their numbers are increasing. Draw markers to make a third generation of fish. Record your data in Table A, and then write the total numbers of each color in the third-generation row of Table B. Now, return survivors to the gene pool (be sure to set aside any genes from yellow offspring). STOP HERE. DO NOT PROCEED TO STEP 7. STOP DISCUSS THE FOLLOWING THREE QUESTIONS WITH YOUR PARTNER AND THEN WITH THE CLASS. WAIT FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS. a. Have all the yellow genes disappeared? b. Has the population size changed? In what way? Would you expect this to occur in the wild? c. How does the population in the third generation compare to the population in the earlier generations? 7. Draw more pairs of genes to make a fourth generation of fish. Record the data in Tables A and B. Do not remove yellow fish at this time. STOP! An environmental disaster has occurred! Factory waste that is harmful to water plants has been dumped into the stream, killing much of the vegetation very rapidly. The remaining rocks and sand are good camouflage for the yellow, red and orange fish. Now, the green fish are easily spotted by predators and can’t survive or reproduce. 8. Because green fish don’t survive, set them aside. Now, record the number of surviving offspring (all but the green) in the fourth-generation survivors row of Table B. Contribute your final data to the class tally on the overhead projector. Your teacher will total the data for the entire class.
  • 33. 31 Table A Gene Pairs and Resulting Fish Colors in Generations 1 – 4 First Gene/Second Gene Resulting Color ----GENERATION---- Offspring 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 Example G/R Green 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Table B Offspring Color for Fish Generations Environment Generation Green Red Orange Yellow First There is a lot of green seaweed Second growing everywhere. Third The seaweed all dies, Fourth leaving rocks and sand Fourth (survivors)
  • 34. 32 After examining the data for the entire class, discuss the following questions with your partner. a. Has the population in the fourth generation survivors changed compared to earlier generations? How? b. Have any genes disappeared completely? c. Yellow genes are recessive to green; green genes are dominant to both red and yellow. Which color of genes disappeared faster when the environment was hostile to them? Why? Discussion: If the fish from a particular stream have become genetically adapted to their home stream over many generations, what might happen if their fertilized eggs are used to restock a different stream that has become depleted of fish? Think of examples from the real world where lowered genetic diversity is impacting a species’ ability to survive.
  • 35. 33 Table C Fish Surviving the Pollution Disaster: Pooled Data Overhead Group Green Red (RR) Orange (RY) Yellow (YY) Totals: Fill in table on the overhead, one line of data per group. Total results in the bottom line.
  • 36. 34 Sharing DNA Researchers estimate that mice and humans share as much as 98 percent of their DNA. But then, the banana and humans have 50 percent of their DNA in common. Sharing DNA, researchers are finding, doesn’t explain a species’ uniqueness. Scientists have found that the amount of DNA in an organism has no effect on how complex that organism is. While humans have about 30,000 different genes, the rice plant has 50,000 genes. Furthermore, genes play different roles in different species, including when they turn on and turn off, an important factor in development and aging. An editorial in the New Scientist stated, “Unfortunately, it has become fashionable to stress that chimpanzees and humans must have extremely similar emotions, behaviors and intelligence since they share 98.4 per cent of their DNA.” “But this misses the point: genomes are not cake recipes. A few tiny changes in a handful of genes controlling the development of the [cerebral] cortex could easily have a very, very large impact. A creature that shares 98.4 per cent of its DNA with humans is not 98.4 per cent human, any more than a fish that shares, say, 40 per cent of its DNA with us is 40 per cent human. The huge difference between probing termite mounds with a twig and constructing the space shuttle or making a painfully learned sign to communicate and reciting the Gettysburg Address is the difference between 100% and 98.4%.” -- Adapted from the Americans for Medical Progress Website, June 5, 2002 at
  • 37. 35 Dear MSI Scientist, My teacher says that scientists study animals in order to learn out about humans. What can you possibly learn about humans from worms? Just how similar to worms are we? How does a fertilized egg know that it is supposed to be a fish, a mouse, a chick or a baby? What tells the embryo when certain cells should start to develop? What am I supposed to learn from the Virtual Embryo activity? Can you tell me why the Blue Java chicks in the incubator almost became extinct? How did the Museum increase their numbers? Your friend in science, Lou
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  • 40. 38 Rubric for Post-visit Letters Student Name _______________________ Category Excellent Good Satisfactory Needs Improvement Ideas were expressed Ideas were expressed Ideas were somewhat The letter seemed to be in a clear and in a pretty clear organized but were not a collection of organized fashion. It manner, but the very clear. It took more unrelated sentences. It Ideas was easy to figure out organization could than one reading to was very difficult to what the letter was have been better. figure out what the figure out what the about. letter was about. letter was about. Content The letter contains at The letter contains 3-4 The letter contains 1-2 The letter contains no Accuracy least 5 accurate facts accurate facts about accurate facts about accurate facts about about the topic. the topic. the topic. the topic. Sentences and Most sentences are Most sentences are The letter contains paragraphs are complete and well- complete and well- many sentence Sentences & complete, well- constructed (no constructed. fragments or run-on Paragraphs constructed and of fragments, no run- Paragraphing needs sentences and/or varied structure. ons). Paragraphing is some work. paragraphing needs done generally well. lots of work. Grammar & Writer makes no errors Writer makes 1-2 errors Writer makes 3-4 errors Writer makes more spelling in grammar or in grammar or spelling. in grammar or spelling. than 4 errors in (Conventions) spelling. grammar or spelling. Complies with all the Complies with almost Complies with several Complies with less than Format requirements for a all the requirements for of the requirements for 75% of the friendly letter. a friendly letter. a friendly letter. requirements for a friendly letter. Letter is typed, clean, Letter is neatly hand- Letter is typed but is Letter is typed but unwrinkled and easy written, clean, not crumpled or slightly looks like it has been to read with no wrinkled, and is easy stained. It may have 1- shoved in a pocket or distracting error to read with no 2 distracting error locker. It may have Neatness corrections. It was distracting error corrections. It was several distracting done with pride. corrections. It was done with some care. error corrections. It done with care. looks like it was done in a hurry or stored improperly. Give reasons and Gives reasons and Gives reasons and Gives no reasons Written details for all of the details for most of the details for some of the or details for the Response questions questions questions questions
  • 41. 39 Genetics Glossary Chromosome: Tightly packed bundles of DNA that are found inside almost every cell in the body. Each chromosome is a long strand of DNA that contains its own set of genes Cloning: Removing the DNA from a cell of one organism and inserting it into an enucleated egg from another to make a third organism that shares the same genes as the donor Development: The process that causes a fertilized egg divide, change, and grow into a new individual. Information from both genes and the environment control development. DNA: Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the molecule that contains the basic “code” of life. This code has four chemicals, represented by the letters A, T, C, and G. Embryo: An organism in the early stages of growth, characterized by the formation of fundamental tissues and the development of organs and organ systems Gene: The regions of DNA that contain coded instructions for making proteins needed to build and maintain life. Gene therapy: The insertion of normal or genetically altered genes into cells, usually to replace defective genes, especially in the treatment of genetic disorders. Genetic Engineering: The use of molecular biology to manipulate DNA, including transferring genes or other pieces of DNA from one species to another. Genome: All the genetic information encoded in the DNA within each cell of an organism. Mutations: A change in the order of the chemical letters (A, T, C and G) that make up an individual’s DNA. Some mutations can lead to disease, some contribute to variation and some have no obvious effect at all.
  • 42. 40 Genetics Bibliography Abraham Lincoln’s DNA and Other Adventures in Genetics By Philip R. Reilly Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2000 OPNSTX QH431.R38 This collection of essays looks into the moral and social implications of our increased knowledge of genetics. Amazing Schemes With Your Genes By Dr. Fran Balkwill, illustrated by Mic Rolph Carolrhoda, 1993 Ages 8-12 JUVOPN QH447.B35 This is an amazingly easy way to understand the complex world of genetics. Genetics Engineering: Redrawing the Blueprint of Life By David Darling Dillon, 1995 Ages 9-12 JUVOPN QH442.D37 Take a look into the 21st century to see what may become of genetic engineering in the future. Cells Are Us By Dr. Frank Balkwill, illustrated by Mic Rolph Carolrhoda, 1993 Ages 9-12 JUVOPN QH582.5.B35 Discover what is inside of you and how we all grow up: cells! Cloning: Frontiers of Genetic Engineering By David Jefferis Crabtree Publishing, 1999 Ages 11-14 JUVOPN QH442.2.J44 The study of genetics has gone on for hundreds of years, and things such as bananas and sheep have been cloned, so what's next? Crime Lab 101 By Robert Gardner, illustrated by Brandon Kruse Walker, 1994 Ages 12-14 Step into this lab for an introduction to the fascinating techniques and tools of forensic science and perform one of the 21 experiments yourself included in this title.
  • 43. 41 DNA Fingerprinting, the Ultimate Identity By Ron Fridell Franklin Watts, 2001 Ages 13 and up JUVOPN RA1057.55.F75 This is a fascinating and informative look at DNA and how it makes us who we are. From Egg to Chicken By Dr. Gerald Legg, illustrated by Carolyn Scrace Franklin Watts, 1998 Ages 6-8 JUVE SF490.3.L44 Take a peep inside a shell. How the Y Makes the Guy By Patrick Baeuerle and Norbert Landa Barron’s Educational Series, 1997 Ages 9-12 Join the microexplorers on a guided tour through the marvels of growing up from the inside out. Ingenious Genes By Patrick Baeuerle and Norbert Landa Barron’s Educational Series, 1997 Ages 9-12 The microexplorers invite you along to take a close-up look at the work of genetic engineers. The Cartoon Guide to Genetics By Larry Gonick and Mark Wheelis HarperPerennial, 1991 OPNSTX QH436.G66 This look at microbiology is accurate AND fun! The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Decoding Your Genes By Linda Tagliafero and Mark Bloom Alpha Books, 1999 OPNSTX QH 430.T33 This popular series tackles its most intricate and interesting topic yet. Prepared by the Chicago Public Library
  • 44. 42 Genetics Web Sites Cloning in Focus A web site provided by the Genetic Science Learning Center at the Eccles Institute of Human Genetics. This page leads to several activities about cloning. Offers the opportunity for kids to try cloning themselves in the online Mouse Cloning Laboratory. Also features an interactive quiz. Build a DNA Molecule Another web site provided by the Genetic Science Learning Center at the Eccles Institute of Human Genetics. Kids can click and drag nucleotides into the correct position based on DNA pairing rules. Requires Flash Player 6. Poor Farmer Brown Presents kids with the opportunity to play farmer, deciding whether or not to use genetics engineering techniques. The consequences of these decisions include a list of hyperlinks that lead to sources of information on biotechnology and the issues it raises. DNA from the Beginning This web site uses animation, image galleries, and video interviews to teach the science of DNA. A comprehensive treatment of DNA, it includes a discussion of Mendel’s experiments with peas and his inheritance laws, information on genes and chromosomes, genetics diseases and genetics engineering. Heredity and Evolution Multimedia Game This site has links to two different games: Sherlock Bones and the Case of the Disappearing Dinosaurs. This game examines four major theories for dinosaur extinction, and also discusses dinosaur myths. Welcome to Phantom Manor is an online quiz that tests genetic knowledge. What is Genetic Engineering? A simple introduction This organization, Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Application of Science and Technology, presents this simple explanation of genetic engineering, describing the principles of heredity and the role they play in mating versus genetic engineering. The organization warns against some of the dangers of genetic engineering.
  • 45. 43 The Human Genome Project The web site of the government’s Human Genome Project. This page offers a free multimedia education kit, “The Human Genome Project: Exploring Our Molecular Selves.∏” It includes information on genome sequencing, variation, and a discussion of medical, social and ethical implications. The Genetic Counseling Game The Woodrow Wilson Biology Institute offers this board game in which students act as genetic counselors, using the principles of heredity to assist couples in making diagnoses on possible children. GenLink’s Educational Links to Science Resources Provides a list of educational links that cover many topics within the field of genetics, including genes, Mendel’s principles, and cell and molecular biology. Also offers a list of science resources especially for grades K-12.
  • 46. 44 Genetics Illinois Learning Standards Genetic Human Mutations Development Cloning State Goals Engineering Genome SG: 1-A. Comprehend words used in X X X X X specific content areas. SG: 1-B. Relate reading to information X X X X X from other sources SG: 1-C. Use information to form, explain X X X X X and support questions and predictions. SG: 3-B. Produce documents that convey X X X X X a clear understanding of ideas and information. SG: 3-C. Compose informative writings X X X X X for a specified audience. SG: 11-A. Know and apply the concepts, X X X X X principles and processes of scientific inquiry. SG: 12-A. Know and apply concepts that X X X X X explain how living things function, adapt and change. SG: 12-B. Know and apply concepts that X X X describe how living things interact with each other and with their environment. SG: 13-A. Know and apply the accepted X X X X practices of science. SG: 13-B. Know and apply concepts that X X X X X describe the interaction between science, technology and society. SG: 16-C. Describe the impact of X X X technology.