You are already familiar with the process of electrophoresis, which will be used to analyze your DNA in this lab. However, your previous experience with electrophoresis used visible dyes as your samples. DNA is not visible in solution, so you will have to stain your gel in order to see your sample. View the video below to learn about the process of staining a gel.
Below are the questions that the class generated regarding information you need to review or learn before fully understanding the science behind the designer baby video. These are the same questions that were on the board at the end of class on Thursday. I’ve taken the liberty of grouping them loosely. They don’t have to stay in this arrangement.
1. Questions about DNA Structure and Function (Sarah Phillip)
How is it expressed to form a trait?
2. Questions about the Human Genome (Caroline & Tessa & Mary Frances)
Review of the X and Y chromosomes
3. Questions about classical (Mendelian) genetics (John, John, Johnny)
What does Dominance/Recessive mean (at the molecular level)?
4. Questions about gametes and fertilization (Josh, Zain)
How are gametes formed?
What are the differences in structure between eggs and sperm?
5. Mitosis and meiosis. (Cici, Keli)
6. Questions about the technology itself.
What are the costs?
At what point in development would selecting for a trait occur?
Would this technology select for traits naturally found in the couple, or would it be used to genetically modify offspring?
How long does this process take?
7. Questions about downstream effects
How might this technology affect future generations?
As soon as scientists started to understand the code of life, it was clear that society needed to consider the vast implications of this knowledge. The Center for Genetics and Society is one organization whose goals include supporting “benign and beneficent medical applications of the new human genetic and reproductive technologies” while opposing “those applications that objectify and commodify human life and threaten to divide human society.”
We live in an exciting time and new discoveries are published every day. We must take the time to consider the implications of such discoveries. What are the benefits? Are there also costs? Should there be legislation that helps guide society to use this knowledge wisely? Or should the scientific community be given no boundaries?
During your time in this course, you will be required to participate in discussions about the ethical implications of genetic science. This discussion will occur online, on our blog Each of you is required to find a current article about genetics and consider it’s implications with regards to society or ethics. You may choose articles from the Center for Genetics and Society, or you may choose something you’ve found on your own. Please write a 1 or two paragraph summary of the article. In the summary you write, you should include a link to the article, so your classmates can read it. Finally, end your post with a question that you would like to see discussed.
Write your summary and question on a Google doc and have it ready before class starts on August 30. During class (while your gels are running), I will show you all how upload your post to the blog. Once this is accomplished, the posts will be kept offline until I post them. Each Monday morning, I will make one post live on our blog. Each student in this course must respond to the question that has been posed by the author at least once in that week. I encourage you to contribute more than one comment – in order for a discussion to continue.
During the semester, we may ask students in other courses to comment as well.
Welcome to Holland Hall Advanced BioInqury: Genetics. I’m looking forward to a great semester with you! This website will become an essential part of our class community, and you will all receive authorship privileges, allowing you to write posts and participate in virtual discussions throughout the semester.
We titled these electives “BioInqury” for a reason. While I have some lab activities that I expect us to this year, and ideas of what I would like you to learn, the format for this course can be decided largely by you. I want you each to feel tied to the subject matter, and to learn about issues in genetics that you have an inherent interest in. My first question to you all, therefore, is what interests you most about the field of genetics? Please take the time to reply in the comment fields below!