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Barry Chess
Natural Sciences Division
Pasadena City College
In Sickness and in Health: A Trip to the Genetic Counselor

In this interrupted case study, Greg and Olga, a young couple planning a family, have decided to see a genetic counselor because of a family history of genetic disease. Students construct a pedigree from the information presented in the case; then, on the basis of that, determine if the couple are carriers for any recessive genetic diseases and the likelihood of their passing those diseases on to their children. Students learn about the inheritance of single gene dominant, recessive, and sex-linked disorders as well as the significance of carrier frequency. Originally developed for use in a non-science major general biology course, the case has also been used in a human genetics course for non-science majors.