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Christopher T.  Bailey
Professor of Chemistry
Division of Natural and Mathematical Sciences
Wells College
The Chemistry of Cooley's Anemia 

Young parents, Max and Andrea Forest, learn that their child is suffering from the genetic disorder, thalassemia. Treatment requires a lifetime commitment to whole blood transfusion and chelation therapy, both of which must be administered on a daily to weekly basis. Students read the case, answer a series of questions, and then decide how they would treat the child if they were the parents. The case was developed to introduce students to the role of metal ions and coordination chemistry in biological systems. It would be appropriate for use in courses in biochemistry, molecular biology, bioinorganic chemistry, and bioethics, among others.

Thinking Inside the Box 

In this particular take on the classic “Black Box Experiment,” students working in groups are given sealed boxes containing objects that they must make indirect observations about and then report their observations to the class in a simulated conference setting. An effective lead-in exercise to a discussion of the scientific method, it can also be used in a general chemistry course to teach students about atomic structure and how experimental evidence can be used to infer structure.