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Jianli Zhou
Graduate Research Assistant
Department of Plant Biology
University of Georgia
FOXP2 and Speech: A Gene Expression Case

FOXP2 was first identified as a human language gene when a mutated version of the gene was found to cause speech problems in the KE family in London. In 2009, a research team transferred the cloned FOXP2 gene into mice and demonstrated that the FOXP2 transgenic mice made different sounds. This "clicker case" uses personal response systems (aka clickers) and a PowerPoint presentation with multiple-choice questions to explore the cutting-edge science behind this discovery. Figures adapted from peer-reviewed research articles are also used to teach about gene expression and the steps for creating a transgenic mouse. The case was developed for an introductory biology course for non-science majors and science majors but could be expanded for an upper-level molecular biology or a biotechnology course.