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Make a Life to Save a Life



Author:

Peggy Brickman
Department of Plant Biology
University of Georgia
brickman@uga.edu

Abstract:

In this “clicker case,” students learn about meiosis through the real-life story of a couple who used pre-implantation genetic screening to select an embryo that was a genetic match for an older sibling with leukemia, and thus able to provide a source of bone marrow cells. The case caused a stir in the medical ethics community.  Before this, parents had only used pre-implantation genetic screening to select for a baby that would be free from a genetic disorder. Instead, this child was conceived as a treatment for his older sister.  The case was developed for use in an introductory biology course.  It consists of a PowerPoint presentation (~1.5MB) shown in class that is punctuated by multiple-choice questions the students respond to using clickers. It could be adpated for use without these technologies.

Objectives:
  • Understand how chromosomes are distributed during meiosis to create variation in the gametes produced.
  • Understand how the genetic information in a gamete differs from the information found in other somatic cells of the parent and how gametes differ from each other.
  • Apply knowledge of how chromosomes are segregated during meiosis to predict the likelihood that an offspring from two parents would inherit a specific combination of chromosomes.
Keywords: Meiosis; cell division; independent assortment; pre-implantation genetic screening; embryo design; reproduction; organ donation; bioethics; medical ethics
Topical Area: Ethics, Policy issues, Social issues
Educational Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division
Formats: PDF, PowerPoint
Type/Method: Clicker, Interrupted
Language: English
Subject Headings: Biology (General)   Cell Biology   Genetics / Heredity   Medicine (General)  
Date Posted: 11/23/09
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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