Reflection: Trust and Respect Detecting Genetic Variation - Sickle Cell Trait - Section 6: Evaluate


Human natural selection is an interesting and controversial topic!

Genetic variation is the basis for evolution by natural selection. Some genetic variation has negative consequences for individuals. However, some improve the ability of the species to survive changes in the environment. How do we openly discuss the consequences and advantages of genetic disorders such as Sickle Cell Disease and Tay-Sachs without discussing the cultural and racial implications as well so that students don't walk away with negative views and misconceptions as to the health or well-being of a race of individuals? I attempt to achieve this level of open, authentic and relevant dialogue by exposing my students to strong scientific evidence to grapple with in order to make an honest assessment.

  Must We Address Matters of Cultural Sensitivity in our Lessons?
  Trust and Respect: Must We Address Matters of Cultural Sensitivity in our Lessons?
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Detecting Genetic Variation - Sickle Cell Trait

Unit 6: DNA and Detectives: Applications of Genetic Testing
Lesson 6 of 7

Objective: Students will investigate variation in the beta globin gene by identifying base changes that do and do not alter function and consider the significance of the base change associated with sickle cell disease.

Big Idea: Our understanding of the basic biochemical mechanisms underlying the symptoms associated with sickle cell disease has provided important clues about possible strategies for clinical intervention such as treatment and new drug therapies.

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sickle cell anemia
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