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You Are Not the Mother of Your Children



Author:

Stephen R. Cronin
Department of Biology and Chemistry
Ave Maria University
stephen.cronin@avemaria.edu

Abstract:

This case is based on a true story of a woman whose children were almost taken from her because her DNA profile indicated that she was not the mother of her children. The interrupted case study follows the woman, her lawyer, and a research biologist as they try to determine why her DNA profile does not match her children’s profiles. In the course of learning about this very unusual case, students review the normal process of reproduction and genetic transmission in humans, form and evaluate hypotheses about the case, and are challenged to think about the possible implications of abnormal transmission of genes.

Objectives:
  • Review the genetic and cellular processes of human reproduction, specifically, the formation of gametes, meiosis, transmission of genetic material, conception, and early development.
  • Formulate and evaluate hypotheses as part of learning about the scientific method.
Keywords: Human reproduction; reproductive hormones; fertilization; embryonic development; DNA; genes; maternity; meiosis; cell division; gametogenesis; fraternal twins; chimera; hermaphrodite
Topical Area: Scientific method
Educational Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Interrupted
Language: English
Subject Headings: Biology (General)   Genetics / Heredity   Cell Biology  
Date Posted: 10/13/09
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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