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Two Peas in a Pod

A Case of Questionable Twins



Author:

Paul Welsh
Science Department
Singapore American School
pwelsh@sas.edu.sg

Abstract:

Based on an actual event, this case study focuses on some of the problems associated with reproductive technologies. It tells the story of the "Joneses," who after in vitro fertilization treatment, discover that their fraternal twins are less similar than one would expect two brothers to be. Students work in teams to unravel the mystery using DNA profiling. Related issues that can be explored include the right to medical information, the implications of human error, and racism.

Objectives:
  • Review the terms and concepts of fertilization, twinning, fraternal vs. identical twins, in vivo and in vitro fertilization, and DNA profiling.
  • Interpret evidence from several single locus DNA gel electrophoresis tests.
  • Understand the benefits and limitations of reproductive technology.
  • Explore legal and ethical issues implied by the use of reproductive technology.
Keywords: Twins; twinning; fertilization; heteropaternal superfecundation; reproductive technology; in vitro fertilization; IVF; gel electrophoresis; DNA profiling; paternity; maternity; medical error; bioethics; medical ethics
Topical Area: Ethics, Legal issues, Social justice issues
Educational Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Interrupted, Role-Play, Trial
Language: English
Subject Headings: Biology (General)   Molecular Biology   Biotechnology  
Date Posted: 10/20/03
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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I have used the "Two Peas in a Pod" as a case study activity for both a Living Environment Course as well as my Clinical Lab Assisting course. I have had great success using this module and the students really get into it.


Holly Michels
Health Careers
Wilson Tech
Dix Hills, NY 11746

5/16/2013



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