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SNPs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails, and That's What People Are Made Of

A Case Study on Genome Privacy



Co Authors:

Debby Walser-Kuntz
Department of Biology
Carleton College
dwalser@carleton.edu

Sarah Deel
Department of Biology
Carleton College
sdeel@carleton.edu

Susan R. Singer
Department of Biology
Carleton College
ssinger@carleton.edu

Abstract:

In this case on genome privacy, students work together to research one of six assigned lobbying groups’ views in this area and then present their groups’ positions before a mock meeting of a U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee as they consider voting on the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. In working through the case, students learn about single nucleotide polymorphisms, common molecular biology techniques, and current legislation governing genome privacy. The case was developed for use in an introductory biology course entitled “Genes, Evolution, and Development.” It could be readily adapted for a genetics or molecular biology course.

Objectives:
  • Define the term “SNP” and list three uses of SNP technology.
  • Design an experiment to identify SNPs.
  • Describe a potential privacy issue associated with SNP technology.
  • Explain the current status of genome privacy laws.
  • Apply scientific reasoning skills to an ethical issue in science.
  • Write a letter to your United States Representative for/against passage of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.
Keywords: Single nucleotide polymorphism; SNP; genetic privacy; Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act; Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996; HIPAA; bioethics
Topical Area: Ethics, Legal issues, Policy issues, Social issues, Social justice issues
Educational Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Analysis (Issues), Public Hearing, Role-Play, Jig-Saw, Student Presentations
Language: English
Subject Headings: Biology (General)   Molecular Biology   Genetics / Heredity   Biotechnology   Bioinformatics  
Date Posted: 09/07/05
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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